Stefano Domenicali has admitted that he is intrigued to see just how Ferrari's two F1 2010 title rivals Red Bull Racing and McLaren-Mercedes handle the scenario of having both of their respective drivers going for glory over the final three races of the campaign, asserting that mental strength could play a key part in the ultimate destiny of the crown.
Whilst double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has the luxury of being able to count upon the undivided support of his team-mate at the Scuderia
, Felipe Massa – who is himself mathematically out-of-the-running to lift the laurels – neither Mark Webber nor Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull Racing, nor Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button at McLaren have the same advantage, with all four still very much in with a shout.
Both teams have vowed that there will be no favouritism displayed until the moment when one of their two drivers can no longer win – which, with the points situation remaining as tight as it is amongst the five protagonists, could well only arrive in the Abu Dhabi finale, if even then – and Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali muses that it will take strong management indeed to prevent a cataclysmic fall-out.
“We are in a situation where only Fernando in our team can contend to win the championship,” the Italian explained. “In the other two teams they have both drivers that will fight, in a sporting way of course. We will see how the teams and drivers will manage this situation. I think it will be very important to see how all the drivers approach the next few races mentally, within the teams and against the other drivers – it will be very interesting.”
One thing Domenicali is sure about, is that if Alonso can successfully get ahead of the runaway Red Bulls in qualifying, then the Spaniard will similarly be able to stem their tide on race day, arguing that the pace of the two cars was similar at Suzuka – the only difference being where they had lined up on the starting grid. Alonso's pole position in Singapore a fortnight earlier was widely-held to be pivotal to the Oviedo native's somewhat against-the-odds victory under the floodlights of the Far-Eastern city-state.
“We have three races to go and everything is possible – we need to be there until the end,” the 45-year-old stressed. “On race pace we were not too bad [in Japan]; the problem is that if you start behind, with this kind of performance it's impossible to get ahead. If we do a great job in qualifying, we are able to beat them – otherwise, it's tough.”