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Domenicali defends Ferrari downturn.


Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has insisted that the Prancing Horse has not gone lame following back-to-back poor races that have allowed McLaren and Lewis Hamilton to take the upper hand.

Heading to this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, Hamilton has opened out a four-point championship lead over Felipe Massa - and seven over current world champion Kimi Raikkonen - while McLaren has cut Ferrari's points lead to 19, although the Woking team still also trails BMW Sauber.

Ferrari, however, acknowledges that it was simply not competitive enough to challenge Hamilton at either Silverstone or Hockenheim, and has spent the time since the German race carrying out an extensive in-depth investigation - both at home in Maranello and during the four-day test at Jerez de la Frontera - into what was behind the lacklustre showings.

Data analysis behind the factory walls was combined with daily communication between Maranello and Jerez to exchange views and ideas, as the team carried out comparisons between set-up options, as well as mechanical and aerodynamic parts that have been developed over the past six weeks or so. The fact that ambient and track temperatures at Jerez were very high and the abrasive nature of the track surface certainly did not make this analysis a straightforward task but, by running the comparison tests in consistent conditions in terms of temperature and wind - especially when Raikkonen ran on Thursday - it reckons a meaningful analysis was possible.

The outcome of the investigations concluded that, at Hockenheim, it was not the F2008 that had something amiss - in that the package was no worse than the previous one. Instead, the major difference was tyre-related and, for a variety of reasons, neither Raikkonen or Massa were able to get the best out of their rubber during the race, even if there had been little sign of this difficulty over the previous two days of practice and qualifying.

"Despite the fact the last two races have been negative for us, the Scuderia is definitely not in crisis," team principal Domenicali stressed, "The team is still leading the constructors' championship and, theoretically, one of our drivers could again be back at the top of the drivers' classification on Sunday night. We are on a similar points tally to last year, we have won half the races so far and, indeed, taken half the pole positions.

"Just as we never felt we were unbeatable after our French GP victory so, too, we do not feel all is lost after the British and German events. The entire squad is doing its best to overturn this situation. We have come from behind before and, in fact, we have emerged as the top team at the end of the season having been in much greater difficulty than we are now.

"If we look at where Ferrari was in 2007 after ten races, today we are in a much better position and, this year, there is one more race than last, which gives us even more opportunities to fight back."

That fightback could start in Budapest, where the Scuderia has enjoyed a modicum of success over the years - including two races which stand out in many a memory.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008, German F1 Grand Prix, Hockenheim, 18th-20th, July, 2008
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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backbeat - Unregistered

July 30, 2008 11:20 AM

lee, don't jump the gun mate. Ferrari may be down, but they certainly aren't out yet. theres a lot of races to go, and you can bet that they'll get the problems they have fixed probably even by this coming GP, if not the next one. LH only has 4 points over FM and 7 over KR, neither can be counted out (take last year for example), it only takes one mistake and a good finish for the ferrari's and Lewis will be looking at 3rd place in the standings.

lee - Unregistered

July 30, 2008 4:18 PM

it had to be accepted by the fia before it was put on the cars. Mclaren are not doing anything wrong and the worst that will happen is that they may be asked to remove it! Thats it!!



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