Domenicali sets one-two target for last three races 29 Sep 2008
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has set the bar high for his drivers in the final three rounds of the 2008 world championship after neither scored points in Sundays inaugural Singapore Grand Prix.
Pit stop problems robbed poleman Felipe Massa of a likely victory, while team mate Kimi Raikkonen crashed out of fourth place late in the race. The result meant Lewis Hamilton went seven points clear of Massa atop the driver standings, while Ferrari lost the constructors' championship lead for the first time since April.
Now, says Domenicali, they must turn things around: "The objective that we have is clear. We have three races to go, we will approach the last three races aware that we need to finish first and second every time. We have the potential to do so, so the target is very clear.
It is not easy, but don't forget that we have raced in very difficult situations over the last couple of years, and we were sometimes able to win, sometimes unfortunately to lose but the motivation is still the same.
Domenicali described Singapore's events as a black day for the team. A human error in Ferraris unique pit-lane traffic light system meant Massa left his first stop too early. Not only did he take the fuel hose with him and drag over a mechanic, he also received a drive-through penalty for being released unsafely into another car's path.
We were not using the electronic system, it was run manually, confirmed Domenicali. When there are a lot of cars coming into the pit in a safety car situation, it is better to have (the system working) like a lollipop but instead of a lollipop you control the green light and unfortunately there was a mistake."
Asked whether Ferrari will stick with the system for the remainder of the season, Domenicali added: "we will analyse what we did in the other pit stops. It was a tense moment, again a guy was knocked down. He's okay, but it's a very tense moment, so we preferred not to use it for the other pit stops because we wanted to give a sign of less tension. It's a system that is trying to give as good a performance as possible.
Its not the first time this season that Ferrari have had pit-stop problems. In Valencia last month Massa was fined following an unsafe release and Raikkonen injured a mechanic after leaving his pit too soon. Nevertheless, Domenicali denied the team have made a disproportionate number of errors this season.
Historically, during the last ten or 12 years, there were always problems during the pit stops, he said. I remember very well problems with Michael (Schumacher) and Rubens (Barrichello). So it's not true that we have made more mistakes than in the past. Unfortunately, we shouldn't have them, but that's another story."