• Canadian Grand Prix

'Crucial moment' for Ferrari

ESPNF1 Staff
June 13, 2011 « Kobayashi bemoans dry pace | »
Fernando Alonso has seen the championship deficit grow to nearly four race victories after a difficult race in Canada © Sutton Images

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said the team "is at a crucial moment of the season" after a disappointing Canadian Grand Prix.

Despite impressive pace in testing, Ferrari had been less competitive during the season, with Fernando Alonso getting lapped in Spain despite leading the opening two stints. The team showed signs of improvement in Monaco, where Alonso finished second, before qualifying second and third in Canada. Alonso's retirement from the race, however, left him 92 points behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel, and Domenicali admitted Ferrari might soon have to turn its attentions to 2012.

"Ferrari is at a crucial moment of the season," Domenicali told Die Welt. "In the next races until after the British Grand Prix we will decide whether we continue to push for the world title or work already for the next season."

Domenicali admitted that the gap to Red Bull was going to prove very difficult to close this year, and praised the championship leaders for designing such a dominant car within the current regulations.

"I'm not from the moon. Red Bull is a very tough opponent. F1 has changed dramatically. Previously, the largest teams could work almost without limits, with no limitations on testing etcetera. For a team like Ferrari, it is more difficult to work under the new conditions.

"But we have to see that Red Bull has built an outstanding car; so good that in a victory the car is usually listed first as the winner before the driver. When we dominated, it was always Michael Schumacher first and then Ferrari. Now it's Red Bull and then Sebastian Vettel."

With Renault outscoring Ferrari for the first time this season in Montreal, Domenicali reiterated that the removal of technical director Aldo Costa was required to display the penalty if the team didn't deliver results.

"There was no other solution," he said. "It was a necessary step to re-motivate the team and show them that there are no excuses, only consequences."