Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says the team is ready to fight back in the 2012 F1 season after a difficult campaign in 2011, which saw Fernando Alonso take just one victory for the Maranello-based team.
Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa were unable to challenge Red Bull and McLaren for the championship titles, with the team now focused on trying to return to championship contention next year.
Speaking at the team's annual Christmas lunch in a speech to the team, di Montezemolo said he was optimistic about the future and was confident that the team would work hard to challenge Red Bull in 2012.
“I want to be optimistic, because I can see the concentration and the attention to detail which characterises the efforts being made by Domenicali and his people, by Fry, Marmorini, Lanzone and Tombazis,” he said. “Work is going on in all areas to improve: from the design of the new car, to the simulation work, from preparing for the pit stops, to the starts and so on. We cannot be happy with the way this year went and there is a great desire to redeem ourselves, because results don't come on their own, they are not delivered by a stork.
“It will take hard work from every one of you, it will come from the ability to be perfect, to start from pole position and that ability is the strength of this company. Behind amazing products there are amazing men and women.”
Insisting that everything Ferrari needs to be successful was now in place, di Montezemolo backed his current driver line-up of Alonso and Massa to carry the team to success once again, arguing that Massa can still do a job for Ferrari despite a below-par 2011 campaign.
“Great things are also expected from our drivers for next season,” he said. “Felipe knows next year is very important for him, but it is up to us to give him a competitive car. If we manage it, then I am sure we will rediscover the Felipe who delivered so much and who could be quicker than Michael and Kimi. Fernando has had an amazing season, even though he did not have a competitive car and he made us all happy at Silverstone, with an emblematic victory, given it came at the same circuit and in the same month in which, sixty years ago, Ferrari took its first ever Formula 1 win. What I like about our drivers is their ability to work with the team: I knew that about Felipe and it was a pleasant surprise to find out the same applied to Fernando. I don't like drivers who turn up at the track with their briefcase and do not share in the daily life of the team: they are not Ferrari people.
“My job is to provide the best possible conditions for you to do yours: I expect a big effort from you and a great desire to do well. Winning depends on us, not on others. We have all we need, starting with the suppliers and exceptional partners such as Philip Morris, Santander and Shell, to name just the main ones. I cannot wait to once again share good times with all of you.”