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Domenicali points to qualifying as Ferrari's Achilles heel
10 June 2013
Looking at the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this year's world championship was effectively over and that no one has any hope of overhauling Sebastian Vettel in the title race.
But Ferrari's team principal Stefano Domenicali insists that's not the case, and that if only Ferrari can find some way of producing a stronger qualifying performance on Saturdays then all bets are off.
"Of course Sebastian did a fantastic race and was out in the lead and able to dictate the pace, kissing the walls in the right places and pull away at the front," conceded Domenicali. "But when you have such a strong qualifying, then you can have this situation. Of course this was not the case for us because when you are stuck behind you cannot attack and second was really all we could do."
Domenicali said that if Fernando Alonso had qualified nearer the front in Canada, or even on the front row alongside Vettel at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, then Sunday would have been very different.
"It would have been a completely different picture," he said. "I believe had Alonso been on the frontrow along with Vettel, it would have been a different story."
So the focus for the team must now in getting better on Saturday, agreed Domenicali. "Today, we absolutely had to make up for the difficult day we had yesterday," he conceded.
"Even if it's easier to get the job done when starting at the front, it's also true that they [Red Bull] managed to produce a perfect qualifying, a task which we know we must improve on," he said. "Today's race demonstrated how two of our closest rivals, Red Bull and Mercedes, have managed to make a step forward and that's the same direction we are working in."
And as for Vettel stretching out his lead to 36 points in the championship battle - and Red Bull now 56 points ahead of Ferrari in the constructors standings - Domenicali pointed out that this certainly didn't mean they should be giving up and handing the spoils to their rivals.
"Last year we had an advantage of 50 points or less over the summer break and we lost the title," he said. "I believe that [Vettel] has been very consistent up until now, but this year things can change very quickly - if he has a difficult race then things can change again.
"For sure if it happened I would not be crying - but because I am a sporting man I would not wish him to have problems!" he added, quickly. "I cannot watch out, I can only watch in and for sure the car needs to improve."
Domenicali added that Felipe Massa's race would have been improved with a different tyre strategy.
"Everyone believed the supersoft was the tyre for the race, but maybe because the temperatures were higher it was the other way round," he said. "In particular for Felipe we should have put on set of medium tyres instead of a second set of supersofts the first time around.
"But this is something that is a process to learn," he said.
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