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Domenicali: reliability Ferrari’s main KERS objective 12 Jan 2009

Stefano Domenicali, Felipe Massa and Luca Baldisserri. Ferrari F60 Team Presentation, Maranello, Italy, 12 January 2009. Felipe Massa (BRA) with the Ferrari F60. Ferrari F60 Team Presentation, Maranello, Italy, 12 January 2009. Felipe Massa (BRA) with the Ferrari F60. Ferrari F60 Team Presentation, Maranello, Italy, 12 January 2009.

Reliability is the factor most likely to determine when Ferrari race a KERS-equipped car for the first time, according to team principal Stefano Domenicali. It follows the track debut of the Italian squad’s new F60 machine at Mugello on Monday.

Ferrari have made no secret of the fact that their KERS development program has fallen behind schedule. Nevertheless, Domenical expects the new system - optional for 2009 - to provide a significant performance benefit, assuming it performs reliably.

“We can decide if we want to use the KERS in our car and when it's clear that the system will effectively improve the performance, which it seems to do in simulations, it will be our task and technical challenge to push on with it,” he said.

The new car completed its inaugural installation lap at 1035 local time at Mugello, with Felipe Massa at the wheel. It was the first time Ferrari have ‘live’ tested their KERS system and Domenicali confessed he was expecting teething troubles.

“Today is a very important day also as far as this system is concerned and we're testing the new system on the track. I don't expect any surprises; but we'll definitely see the problems when it's used on the track,” he said.

With in-season testing now banned and the annual testing limit slashed, Domenicali admitted it was now more important than ever to prove the reliability of new components before risking them in a race environment.

“As you know tests are limited to 15,000 kilometres this year and there's no possibility to test after the start of the season,” he said. “I expect that test stands and simulations will be used much more.

“As I already said there will be many more problems, but our main objective is reliability. Last year we paid a high price; this year, with a new system as complex as the KERS, our main objective is the verification of the reliability.”