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Upbeat Montezemolo praises Ferrari’s fighting spirit 08 Mar 2012

Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 4 March 2012 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2012.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 3 March 2012 Ferrari practices a pit stop.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 4 March 2012 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2012.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 3 March 2012

It’s no secret that Ferrari’s winter hasn’t quite gone to plan and after struggling to find performance and reliability from their innovative F2012, most in the Italian team - including technical chief Pat Fry - believe they will struggle to finish on the podium at next week’s Australian season opener.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, however, is hopeful that the doom-filled predictions of a slow start to the season will eventually prove unfounded. And after visiting the Maranello factory on Wednesday and meeting with team principal Stefano Domenicali and top engineers, Di Montezemelo has commended the Scuderia’s resolve.

“I found a team that is very concentrated and determined,” he told Ferrari’s official website. “I saw in Domenicali and our engineers a great desire to show what they’re worth and to react to a winter programme that didn’t live up to our targets.”

Following last week’s final pre-season test in Barcelona, Ferrari have been ensconced in their factory figuring out how they can extract the most from their radical new car. Drivers Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso have both been hard at it, carrying out data analysis and simulator work alongside their technical colleagues.

As well as praising everyone's determination, Montezemolo reminded the team that they won’t truly know how they measure up to their rivals until they get to Albert Park, even then, they will have plenty of time over the next 19 races to make up any deficit.

“We will only discover the truth about where we stand compared to the others after Saturday’s qualifying session in Melbourne: today we can only make assumptions,” he added. “No matter how it goes in Melbourne, I would like to remind everyone that this will be the longest championship in the history of Formula One and we certainly won’t be able to draw conclusions after just one race.”

With the 2012 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix getting underway in just over a week, on March 16, Ferrari now have just a few more days of factory-based preparation left before they journey to Melbourne.

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