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Domenicali: 'We did a great job in Spain!'
13 May 2013
For once, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali had absolutely no need of his 'putting a brave face on it' skills after the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday afternoon.
"I am really happy with this great team result!" he said, clearly thrilled with the outcome in Spain. "We held our own against very strong opposition [and] we did a great job, both here at the track and back in Maranello."
After starting from fifth place on the grid, Fernando Alonso had marched to an irresistible victory with a mix of perfect strategy, flawless tyre management and a race pace that belied the team's ongoing anxieties about the F138's raw speed so far this year.
"Fernando yet again drove a great race, aggressive at the key moments and conservative when he had to manage his lead, making up ground on all his main rivals," Domenicali said.
Felipe Massa also performed strongly in Barcelona, overcoming a three-place grid penalty for blocking a rival in Saturday's qualifying to have a real shot at second place before finding his last set of tyres not to his liking him, forcing him to settle for third place on the podium instead.
"I am particularly happy with Felipe's performance, because on this track, to start ninth and finish on the podium is not easy," said the team boss. "He was in the fight right to the final moments and this result is very well deserved."
That throws the spotlight on what Ferrari have to focus on next. If their race performance in Spain was next to perfect, then it's still the case that they're spending too much of their race making up to setbacks the previous day in qualifying.
"We know there is much to do to improve our car for Saturday afternoons, as we have said many times before, if we want to ensure we start from further up the order," he agreed.
Overall it hadn't been quite as smooth and easy as it might have looked from the outside. "It was a very tense race, in which the slightest little detail could make a big difference," insisted Domenicali.
"When one considers how tyre management and calling the pit stops today made the difference and I can say without being presumptuous, that the team of engineers didn't put a foot wrong," he added. ""We read the race very well."
It was all the more remarkable given that the team's director director Pat Fry wasn't present at Catalunya on Sunday, having been taken to hospital the previous morning with appendicitis.
"I think that is down to Pat Fry, even he wasn't with us today on the pit-wall," agreed Domenicali.
Fry had an appendectomy in the afternoon and is expected to make a full recovery, although it's still too soon to know whether he will be up to travelling again in time to make it to the next Grand Prix on the calendar in Monaco.
More important even that the outright race win is the impact that the result in Spain has had on the drivers and constructors championships
Alonso has closed to 17 points of Sebastian Vettel in the former, whereas the 40 points from the double podium success of the to drivers leapfrogs Ferrari into second spot in the latter 14 points behind Red Bull.
"These forty points taken in Barcelona are very important," agreed Dominicali. "I'm pleased we have closed the gap to all our closest rivals."
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