8 September 2014
F1 Italian Grand Prix: Mattiacci blames grid positions for poor showing
Marco Mattiacci reckons Ferrari had good pace in the 2014 F1 Italian Grand Prix, but that the team was hampered by the failings in qualifying
Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci says the Scuderia “could have done better” on home soil, but that Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen started too far behind to “have a normal race”.
Alonso and Raikkonen had both looked good in final practice for the 2014 F1 Italian Grand Prix on Saturday, setting the second and seventh best times respectively. However in qualifying, as has usually been the case this season, both were less competitive with Alonso ending up seventh - admittedly in a group of four cars split by less than 0.122 seconds – while Raikkonen went out in Q2 and eventually wound up in P11 on the grid after Daniil Kvyat's penalty.
“First of all, I think for me it was important to experience the passion and love that is around Ferrari [at Monza] and to understand the relevance that Ferrari is much more than a racing car team,” he replied when asked for his assessment of the team's performance in front of the Tifosi.
“It is an institution and we have an obligation, an obligation towards the fans and all these employees. This gives me again a lot of motivation toward the team to make sure that this frustration is going to end.”
“At least we had good pace [too] and the car confirmed an improvement,” he added. “But again, definitely the deficit is quite fine [at least to Red Bull and McLaren] and when you don't, if you start in the lower end of the grid, it is going to be a different start if you don't have a strong car unit and a grid position further ahead.
“However, I think we proved that we had the same pace as Red Bull and some of the others, so we could have done better.
“Unfortunately we started too far behind to have a normal race.”
In the end, Raikkonen finished ninth, gaining a position after Kevin Magnussen's 5 second penalty, while Alonso had to retired on lap 27 due to an ERS failure. It was the Spaniard's first mechanical failure in four years.
“We had an issue with the ERS. So far we have been good with reliability. But statistically... it is something that could happen. We have never had this issue before, but it happened. All the others, everybody is having reliability issues this year, but Ferrari," he stated.
"So we joined the group. That is unfortunate. I don't like this and it is not any kind of comfort, but it is an ERS issue."
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