Ferrari has revealed that it is ready to halt the development of its 2009 car in order to place its efforts fully on its 2010 successor – ironically, at a point during the F1 season when the Scuderia's
F60 is beginning to look truly competitive for the first time.
With no points on the board until the fourth grand prix in Bahrain, the scarlet brigade endured its worst start to a campaign in the top flight in almost three decades this year, and flirted with the worst start in its entire history. Since then, though respectability has been re-established to some extent – with a front row starting spot and podium finish for Kimi Raikkonen in Monaco, and third position for Felipe Massa in the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring last weekend – it has been deemed that in order to avoid suffering the same fate again in 2010, the best course of action would be to change the focus now.
Whilst sitting fifth (Massa) and tenth (Raikkonen) in the drivers' standings – with respectively 22 and ten points to their name – means that both drivers are a long way from being mathematically out of contention for overall honours at the halfway stage of proceedings, the odds are undeniably stacked against Ferrari, which itself is a full 80 markers adrift of long-time pace-setters Brawn GP in the chase for the constructors' crown.
“We've already started work on the new project,” the Maranello-based outfit's team principal Stefano Domenicali is quoted as having said by the BBC
, “and in the next couple of weeks we will move on to that. We want to start with a different pace compared to this year.”
The Italian added that he hoped the recent political squabbling and in-fighting in the form of the FIA/FOTA dispute – in which he has played a not inconsiderable role – would soon be resolved, as it had diverted his attention away from what he is best at...development of the car.
“To be honest, I would have preferred to have been more balanced for the team,” the 44-year-old confessed, “but it was a very critical moment for F1 and we have had to make sure we were doing our job. Being the team principal of Ferrari, with all that Ferrari means for F1, I also felt a responsibility.”