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Australia podium would represent a good start - Ferrari

ESPN Staff
March 7, 2013 « Marussia still in negotiations with Ecclestone | Exhausts still a key battleground - Ferrari »
Ferrari is expecting another competitive year © Sutton Images
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Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has said a podium at the first grand prix of the season would represent a good start for his team.

The first race will take place next weekend in Australia, with the order among the top teams incredibly difficult to judge following pre-season testing. Domenicali is confident Ferrari will be in the title chase until the end of the year but said a podium will be sufficient to kick the season off to a good start.

"Unless someone else has done an exceptional job I'm convinced that Ferrari will be in the battle to the end [of the season]," he said. "A podium in Australia would be a good base on which to build the kind of successes we need.

"Apart from the actual performance of the car, our work in the wind tunnel is an element that gives us faith in the area of aerodynamics, where 90% of the performance comes from, so we can work with a certain calmness.

"The stability of the rules is another guarantee that there won't be surprises with any exceptional creative solutions that make a big difference, and I'm especially confident given the changes we made last year."

Although Domenicali thinks the start of the season will be competitive among the teams, he said the burden of building a completely new car for 2014 would mean bigger outfits such as Ferrari would be able to extend their advantage towards the end of the season.

"I'm sure that over the course of the season the competition will reduce because the demands on all the teams for the 2014 project cannot be underestimated," he added. "We are talking about a car that is completely different to what we've seen before and there's a risk of missing the boat: the smaller the organisation, the greater and the earlier the resources they will have to invest in the new project.

"Meanwhile for the big teams, the exercise will be to balance the resources required to keep up the development to be competitive right to the end with the attention that needs to be dedicated to 2014 to avoid the risk of being left behind."