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Q&A with Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali 14 Sep 2009

(L to R): Luca di Montezemolo (ITA) Ferrari President with Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Ferrari General Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, Thursday, 10 September 2009 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 13 September 2009 (L to R): Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari with Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Ferrari General Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 13 September 2009 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 13 September 2009 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Ferrari F60.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 12 September 2009

Lewis Hamilton’s crash on the last lap in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix was a welcome present for Kimi Raikkonen, who inherited a podium that he probably didn’t expect given the pace of his Ferrari. Nevertheless, team principal Stefano Dominicali was full of praise for Raikkonen’s performance, both at Monza and throughout the second half of the season. Convinced that the Finn’s consistency will continue for the rest of the year, Domenicali hopes that third place in the constructor’s championship is now within Maranello’s grasp…

Q: Stefano, due to Lewis’s crash Kimi inherited a podium. Was there any chance of doing better than that with the one-stop strategy?
Stefano Domenicali:
No. Considering the pace that we had nothing more would have been possible. In the end, after the Brawns who were very competitive all weekend, we’ve been slower than McLaren and even with a different strategy the position would not be different. I think we gained the maximum possible today. Kimi did the best given the fact that we didn’t have a lot of speed and weren’t able to catch up in the first stint of the race where you lay the foundations to do well in the second one. At the end of the day that result was more than we could have expected considering our race pace. And honestly, I don’t understand the position of McLaren and Lewis Hamilton. To lose the car a couple of corners before the end of the race is always difficult to accept and I couldn’t understand that situation.

Q: After all the rumours it would be helpful to hear one word from you regarding Kimi’s future. Is Kimi driving a Ferrari in 2010?
SD:
I am definitely not going to discuss that now. As everybody is aware, Kimi has a contract with us next year and I am very happy with his performance because he is driving very, very well, especially in the second part of the season. The last five races he has always been on the podium and I think after Barrichello he has scored the most points, so he has shown true qualities of fighting for the championship. That is our position.

Q: We have seen a very strong performance from the Mercedes engine, and a lack of performance from the Toyota engines. Would you say it’s about time to again do some sort of ‘de-freeze’ like previously happened for Renault?
SD:
This is for sure something that we will be discussing in the engine working group because today we have seen a really great performance from the Mercedes engine and before we make a final decision we have to see the numbers connected to that. It is a point that is on the table to discuss among the teams, as it is something that we need to understand.

Q: Kimi has scored four podiums in a row. How long do you think he can continue this run?
SD:
I hope to see him on the podium also in the last four races. And I know that he can do it. At the moment there is a bit of guess work on where all the teams are performance-wise - and if as a team you are able to maximize the performance you can reach the podium at each of the four remaining races.

Q: You have stopped developing this year’s car and are concentrating fully on the 2010 car. How is that development going and how much further are you in the process compared to this time last year?
SD:
I think that what we can see now in the wind tunnel is going quite well and we are fully concentrating on the new rules that will come into effect next season, like no refuelling. We also have to work very hard on the mechanical side to get it right in terms of any weight solutions for the car and we have to learn to understand how to work with the new tyres. As we started two months earlier compared to last year, that means that we are two months ahead this year.

Q: What about Giancarlo Fisichella? Did you expect more from him this weekend?
SD:
I think that Giancarlo performed well. He had a difficult Saturday and Sunday it was important for him to finish the race. Once he’s got used to the car I expect him do better at the next race. Our car is not so easy to handle and I am sure that from Singapore on he will be able to fight for points.