Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has urged his team to keep pushing to resolve the issues it has faced with the F2012 so far.
The new car has failed to perform as expected during pre-season testing, leaving Ferrari on the back foot going into the opening round of the year – with technical director Pat Fry all but ruling out a podium finish in Australia [See separate story HERE
However, speaking to the team in Maranello after its return from testing at Catalunya, Domenicali urged his men to push hard to try and get the new car up to speed.
“It's obvious that we can't be happy with how the test went considering or goals, but let's not forget that the Championship still has to start,” he said. “This is just the starting point and we have a very long season ahead of us. We know that there are some areas where we have to work a lot, regarding reliability and performance, but I'm expecting some great responses from you all and the wish to show who we are.”
Fernando Alonso, who had – alongside Felipe Massa – been prevented from speaking to the media during the final pre-season test, also addressed the team and insisted it where Ferrari are at the end of the season that will matter, rather than how they perform in the season opener.
“The new single-seater has some characteristics, which are difficult to understand and maybe we're not where we want to be yet,” the Spaniard said. “But we've all live through many Formula 1 seasons and we all know very well that until we're not in Australia we don't really know where we stand regarding to the others.
“There's lots of talk and many ideas, but nobody knows the truth. For example yesterday Red Bull, considered by many to be the front-runner, had only a few laps and the last time on the sheet: if something similar had happened to us, hell would have broken loose, but here nobody really noticed it. More than ever we have to give it our all to improve, from the one who's responsible for the rear-view mirror to the one who's responsible for the piston.
“We're united and we're giving it our all, because we all want the same. I just want to remind you of an episode two years ago: at the last test in Barcelona we were fifth behind Red Bull, McLaren, Sauber and Force India and two weeks later we gained a one-two win in Bahrain. What counts is not to be first in the first race, but in November, at the end of the Championship….”