Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has admitted the F1 2011 Canadian GP left a 'bitter taste in the mouth' and that the overwhelming feeling at the end of the event was one of 'regret'.
The Scuderia looked strong following qualifying on Saturday and Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finished the top-ten shoot-out in second and third respectively, the former less than two tenths off pole-man and runaway championship leader, Sebastian Vettel.
Race day however did not go to plan and in the end Alonso retired on lap 38 after colliding with Jenson Button and getting beached on a kerb [see separate story - click here
]. His exit ended a run of twelve consecutive points' finishes stretching right back to last year's Italian GP.
Massa's race also went pear-shaped when he damaged his front wing while attempting to lap Narain Karthikeyan on lap 53. The Brazilian finished in sixth.
Unsurprisingly then, Domenicali struggled to find much to be positive about: “Regret is the feeling affecting all of us at the end of a chaotic Canadian Grand Prix. Today we had the potential to fight for the win, but everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” he commented.
“In the end, Felipe's sixth place is definitely a result that is hard to swallow given how the race ended. Two incidents in particular – the collision between Fernando and Button and the passing move on Karthikeyan that caused Felipe to go of the track – leave a bitter taste in the mouth.
“Now we must put this Sunday behind us though, while retaining the fact that our performance level was a match for the situation, just as we had seen two weeks ago in Monaco. We must do it again starting in Valencia and then improve for those races – I'm thinking above all of Silverstone – where aerodynamic efficiency will count for more and maybe the new interpretation of the regulations concerning the exhausts could change the pecking order in the field.”
Ferrari technical director Pat Fry meanwhile was also disappointed to see the team leave Montreal with just six more points on the board: “You could say that was a pretty chaotic race, from which we did not come away with what was within our capabilities,” he added. “Events definitely did not do us any favours, starting with the weather.
“In the first part of the race, the drivers were getting a different feel from their cars: for Fernando the intermediates were quicker and that is what led to the decision to bring him in to fit them. Then it began raining harder and the red flag followed. It was a lottery and our numbers did not come up, that's for sure.
“Now however we must look ahead and put this race behind us as quickly as possible, without letting it get us down. The team worked well in what were very difficult conditions. From a performance point of view, this weekend we saw that the gap to the quickest seems to have been reduced.
“Unfortunately, we did not reap the benefits of that on today's results sheet. We must look ahead and try to continue down this route of improving the car: sooner or later the results will come.”