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Ferrari targeting improvement in qualifying pace 09 Apr 2013

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F138.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 22 March 2013 Pat Fry (GBR) Ferrari Technical Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday, 23 March 2013 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F138.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday, 23 March 2013

Ferrari technical director Pat Fry says that while the race pace of the team’s F138 has been 'reasonable', the target now is to improve its performance in qualifying.

The Scuderia have shown consistent speed so far this season but have claimed just one front row grid slot - Felipe Massa’s second place in Malaysia which was 0.913 seconds slower than the pole time of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

“We’ve shown reasonable race pace and on all the tyre types we have used so far we have performed well, however we still have a way to go to be quickest in qualifying and we are working very hard on that at the moment,” said Fry.

“We’ve been concentrating on the longer runs, even if they are not as long as in the past, because this year we expect more pit stops during a race. However, we have not ignored our qualifying pace. I am sure there is more to come on this front, as we learn more about our car and start getting the best out of it.

“The key will be to try and move our car development programme forward quicker than the other teams do. It’s a tough cycle that will last all year and we need to at least match our 2012 development pace if we are to perform better in qualifying.

“So far, we have worked well, all the way through from design to manufacture, improving on how we did things last year in terms of actually getting new bits onto the car. Also, our aero correlation is better.”

Speaking about Ferrari’s chances at the upcoming 2013 Formula 1 UBS Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, Fry remained cautious.

“Shanghai is a challenging mix of different corner types and a 1.2 kilometre straight,” he said.

“Is it going to suit our car better than some others? It is too early to say, as there are too many unknowns. For example, it will be the first weekend this year that we will use the Pirelli Soft compound, along with the Medium.

“At the end of this Grand Prix, we will have a clearer picture of how all the tyres compare to one another. So to some degree, Shanghai will be another learning exercise for everyone, although we can say that our pace, relative to the other teams, has been okay on all the tyres we have tried so far.”

Despite finishing a lowly 13th in Shanghai in 2012, Felipe Massa heads into this year’s race full of confidence.

“I know we have only done two races, but I have a good feeling so far this season,” the Brazilian said. “The work we did with the F138 over the winter has taken us in the right direction and the car has much more potential.

“We are well prepared for China and we will have all the updates we hoped to bring with us in Shanghai after work in the factory and the simulator last week. I hope this translates into a further performance improvement on track.”

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