Tuesday 12 December 2017

F1: Domenicali sees room for improvement

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali feels there is room for improvement despite his team's perfect start to the new Formula One season.

Fernando Alonso spearheaded a one-two finish in the opening race in Bahrain 10 days ago, yet Domenicali only rated the weekend an eight out of 10 in terms of performance.

Domenicali's seemingly stingy mark is based on the fact Sebastian Vettel dominated qualifying in his Red Bull, and but for a faulty spark plug would have taken the chequered flag.

Instead the 22-year-old had to settle for fourth and off the podium behind Alonso, team-mate Felipe Massa and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

Under the new scoring regulations, it allowed Ferrari to pick up a maximum 43 points, yet Domenicali believes the Scuderia can improve going into this weekend's race in Melbourne.

"If we don't rate ourselves with a high mark when we achieve first and second, then I don't know what to say in other circumstances," replied Domenicali when asked to score Bahrain out of 10.

"But considering we had some issues we need to solve, then I would rate ourselves at eight.

"It was still a fantastic result from which we received a really great emotional boost, so the feeling within the team is good.

"But it was only the first race and the season is very long, and we know in Melbourne it will be a totally different race.

"We at least have a competitive car, but we need to be very focused because it will be a very difficult weekend.

"We have to forget about Bahrain and concentrate on Melbourne, but we have a good starting point from which we can do good things together."

President Luca di Montezemolo has echoed Domenicali's sentiments, especially as there were a few niggly issues in Bahrain such as high engine temperatures.

"We need some great humility in this race," said Domenicali.

"We know we have to work and there is still lots to be improved, such as performance and reliability, so it's important to stay realistic.

"In Melbourne it will be fundamental to have a good qualifying on Saturday, because as usual on city circuits, to start from the front will determine the final outcome."

Press Association

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