Ferrari technical director Pat Fry has admitted the Scuderia still has 'a lot to do' and 'will need to keep up the pressure' if they are to succeed in the second half of the F1 2012 season.
The Maranello-based squad struggled early on with the F2012 but dug deep and turned the situation around. Indeed going into F1's summer break number one driver Fernando Alonso sits at the top of the drivers' championship with 164 points on the board - 40 more than Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber, his closest rival. The Spaniard can also lay claim to being the only driver to have scored in every single race and he is also the only driver to have managed three victories this year, after coming out top at Sepang, Valencia and Hockenheim.
Despite all that though, Fry knows they must keep pushing if they are to see off the threat from their rivals.
“The last four, five months have been very tough for all of us in the Scuderia,” Fry told Ferrari's official website. “So I think it's right that we have a break so everyone can recover and then we will have to come back pushing as hard as we have been doing all the way to the end of the season.
“We have a few interesting developments that we will introduce at Spa, a track which, from an aerodynamic downforce point of view, is quite special, as indeed is Monza. In fact, we will also have an aerodynamic and engine package specifically suited to the Italian track. Therefore a lot of work has been done, but there is still also a lot to do: we must continue to keep up the pressure to a high level.”
Fry did confirm, however, that some recent updates hadn't worked as they had hoped. He is confident though, that they have learnt from it: “It's true we had a handful of parts that did not work the way we had expected: there's always a chance that can happen in work like this,” he explained.
“The positive aspect is that we understood the problem and everything is alright now: that way, we can use this experience to move forward rather than being left confused about it. In fact, we have a clear idea on the direction we need to take and we have already begun to work in this direction.
“I think that when one tries to get to the limit, one definitely encounters new problems. Now we have a good understanding of the situation, therefore we only need to modify our development criteria and continue to push.”
So what is his verdict on the first eleven races for Ferrari?
“Obviously, at the start, after the winter tests, we were a bit behind,” he replied. “I think we learned a lot in this period and used that later on. We struggled in the early races: I remember that in Melbourne we were around a second and a half behind the best. We then put in a huge effort, in the wind tunnel, the production department and at the design stages. The entire workforce reacted to the challenge we faced.
“In my opinion, we have overtaken a large part of the other teams in terms of development over the season: we staged a very good recovery, but there is still a long way to go.”