Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has said the team appears more confident going into the Spanish Grand Prix after a tough start to the 2012 season.
The team has taken one victory this season thanks to a strong drive from Fernando Alonso in the Sepang rain but that win aside, 2012 has so far been a difficult one for the Maranello-based team with both Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa struggling to challenge with the new F2012.
Ferrari bosses have readily admitted that they view the opening four races as a case of damage limitation and while he said he was shocked to see the team off the pace, di Montezemolo said he was confident of forward progress.
"I got a shock from the way we started, as I was not expecting it," he was quoted by ESPNF1
. "I had in mind a different scenario. There have been four races and we have won one of them. So we are thereabouts and now we have to make a leap forward in terms of quality to have a more competitive car. I have noticed the engineers seem more confident and now we will see what happens in Spain."
Ferrari introduced a number of small upgrades onto the car at Mugello during testing last week and with the promise of more to come in Barcelona, Alonso said it was time for the team to turn things around.
“In Montmelo, we will be counting on making a step forward, but we won't know until Saturday if we have and if so, how big a step it is,” he said. “We have updates on the F2012, some of which we tested in Mugello last week and others which we will try out on Friday in free practice. Clearly, having limited the damage in the first four races this year, we must turn things around.
“Having said that, it's not the case that if we are not on pole in Barcelona then it's the end of the world. The important thing is to make progress, reducing the gap as much as possible, first this weekend, then again in Monaco and after that, in Montreal, Valencia, Silverstone. The season is very long, with sixteen races to go, the same number that constituted the entire calendar back in 2003. We must continue to work day and night.”