Ferrari finished 5th in the recently concluded Australian Grand Prix, a result they would not have been okay with a couple of years back, but such is the situation of the team that the team is relieved to finish 5th.
Going into the Malaysian Grand Prix Ferrari will be looking to better that performance, but the question is how and what will be required to achieve that?
Ferrari team Principal Stefano Domenicali has said that the team understands that in order to be competitive it needs to work on the top speed and traction of the car. He said that is the area of major concern right now.
Felipe Massa has said that the balance of the car is not right and that is something that has troubled him throughout the qualifiers and the race on Sunday as well. The balance affects the compounds and results in higher degradation of the tyres.
On the other hand Fernando Alonso has performed admirably with the given machinery and finished 5th.
Stefano said that the team is not happy with the fifth place but considering the situation Ferrari is in at the moment the result is a positive one. He praised Alonso and said that the Spaniard’s performance was really good. He added that Alonso’s pace was not bad initially as compared to the leaders of the grid but later on he struggled and the safety car did not help him either. He did struggle to keep Pastor Maldonado’s Williams behind him and he was fortunate to keep his position as the Williams car was not able to finish the race.
According to the principal Massa’s woes have not yet been addressed as the team still needs to look into the balance of the car and make sure they can eliminate such a high rate of tyre degradation. Domenicali said that it is unfortunate that the Brazilian was not able to finish the race because he had a pretty good start and managed to move up into the top ten very quickly.
It is clear that the car that showed up in Melbourne is not the car that the team wants to go with throughout the season, and work is being done to change that. The engineers are aware of the situation and are working hard to find a work around through his difficult time. Domenicali also added that the fans and critics should not make haste in discounting Ferrari just yet, it is a long season ahead and things can change quickly.
Especially because the difference between teams is not that great this season so no major overhaul is required just a little bit in pace and traction will do the trick for the team. Malaysia is another opportunity where Ferrari can look to get a better performance out of the car and make sure both the drivers are able to finish the race.