F1 » 21 August 2013
Ferrari: Drivers not a priority
Stefano Domenicali insists that Ferrari's priority is on improving its car and not on sorting its driver line-up for the 2014 season
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has again insisted that the 2014 driver line-up isn't a priority, with the focus for the Scuderia firmly on trying to fight back in the title race.
Speculation has suggested that Kimi Raikkonen could make a return to the team that carried him to the 2007 title to partner Fernando Alonso next year, with Felipe Massa again finding his position with the Italian team at risk.
Despite that talk however, Domenicali insisted that the driver line-up for next season wasn't what was currently important and that the focus of everyone within the team should be on giving Alonso and Massa a car capable of running at the front.
“There is still everything to play for and we have gone through this before, as recently as last year,” he said. “Nine races means that a total of 225 driver points are available and rest assured that the goals we set ourselves at the start of the season are still perfectly attainable. It's true we've gone through a difficult period, especially in July and now is the time to react in the way that Ferrari people know well.
“Our task is very simple: namely to give Fernando and Felipe the quickest car possible. Now, their contribution will be even more essential than ever. We have spelt it out many times before: the driver topic is definitely not a priority.
“What counts is to give them the best possible chance of finishing ahead of everyone and, in order to succeed, each and every one of us must do our job to the best of our ability on all levels. If they have a winning car in their hands, then I am convinced they will know how to win with it. If we all believe, then we can do it!”
Speaking to Ferrari staff at its Maranello factory, Domenicali added that the team had to retain belief that it could still secure championship success this year.
“I don't want to see any of you not believing in our fightback: each one of you must be the link in a chain of positivity that must drive the team along in what is a key moment in the season,” he said. “We are Ferrari and history teaches us that we must never accept we are beaten. There is much talk outside the company regarding the future, but we must concentrate only on the present, on the fight for the championship.
“The words of our President before the summer break must serve as a stimulus, because they were meant as the words of a good family father, who, first and foremost really roots for our team: keep those words in mind and let's all pull together, starting in Spa.”
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