Ferrari: Were pleased with our pace, but remain realistic 04 Feb 2010
The performance of Ferrari during this weeks Valencia test may have prompted many to speculate that they are the team to beat, but team principal Stefano Domenicali is eager to downplay the Italian squads perceived dominance. And while hes clearly pleased with their progress, hes determined they stay level headed, as Marchs Bahrain season opener draws closer.
Between them, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso controlled the top of the timesheets throughout the three-day test at the Spanish track. They were the only men to break through the 1m 12s barrier, with local hero Alonso clocking a best time of 1m 11.470s and Massa a quickest run of 1m 11.722s. Domenicali, however, is hesitant to celebrate the F10s domination just yet.
"We know very well that test lap times, especially this year, have to be handled with care, he told Ferraris official website. "There are no miracles in Formula One. If you want to be fast you have to work hard for months and months and then youll meet your competitors, who have just as much capacity and motivation as you. We cant take anything for granted and we shouldnt delude ourselves by indications, which could be completely misleading.
The Italian instead counsels caution.
We cant forget where we were in terms of performance at the last Grand Prix, he continued. There is still a lot of work to do to close the gap, and there are still many problems we have to solve. We dont know the fuel loads the other cars had on board, so its impossible to get a clear idea of the relative strengths on the track. Maybe someone wants to play hide and seek, and some are yet to present their cars.
In spite of his wariness about where Ferrari stand in relation to their rivals, Domenicali was thrilled with the performance and work ethic of his two drivers, and praised the in-depth feedback the Ferrari engineers have received from the duo.
"They were both very happy with how things went, he explained. They are both extremely motivated and have a great desire to drive. It would have been frustrating if we hadnt started on the right track here. Both, Felipe and Fernando, know that we have to work a lot and they already gave many indications where we have to improve the car."
Domenicali was also pleased with the F10s consistency. The 2010 car managed to avoid the reliability issues that befell the BMW Sauber and Toro Rosso teams, and completed a total of 353 laps of the Valencia track.
"If there is one thing were really satisfied with then its the reliability the car has shown, he concluded. The fact we have driven more than 1,400 kilometres is very good start, and we need to ensure that the intense work at the test, and in terms of simulations over the weeks before the debut on the track, bears fruit.
Ferrari will be back in action next week as a four-day test at the Spanish circuit of Jerez gets underway from Wednesday.