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Ferrari won't get carried away - Domenicali

ESPN Staff
March 18, 2013 « Tyres the cause of Red Bull's lack of race pace | Whitmarsh in the firing line - Coulthard »
Fernando Alonso finished second to Kimi Raikkonen in Melbourne, while Felipe Massa was fourth © Sutton Images
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Stefano Domenicali says Ferrari won't get carried away with the improved start it has made to the new season.

Ferrari started 2012 well off the pace and Fernando Alonso ultimately lost out on the championship to Sebastian Vettel by just three points. However, Alonso finished second ahead of Vettel in Melbourne as Ferrari proved it has a much more competitive car this season, but Domenicali said the promising start wouldn't change the team's approach.

"For sure we need to be prudent because this is only the first race," Domenicali said. "There will be so many things that will change in the next couple of races in terms of understanding, in terms of race preparation, in terms of tyre management.

"The strategy is always important but I put in front of everything reliability because if you don't finish you don't score points and I'm pleased to see our group of mechanics is doing a great job today. We need to be solid in the points where we are strong and then improve where we need to improve, but for sure the championship this year will be very intense up to the last race, no doubt."

With Vettel showing a surprising lack of pace in the race, Domenicali said he expected Red Bull to bounce back but that he would not be looking at how other teams are performing.

"Red Bull has been always the best team in the last couple of years so they will for sure try to understand what was not right in their situation with regards to tyre management. But we need to be focused on our job, maximise our situation and our package because to focus on ourselves is the only thing we can do. What the others will do is not something that I can really influence; if we can distract them we will do it but I would prefer to stay focused on our job."

Although Felipe Massa was comfortably leading Alonso for the first half of the race Ferrari opted to pit Alonso for a second time early, giving him an advantage over his team-mate. Domenicali didn't reference the impact on Massa's race but said the ultimately successful move was designed to get ahead of Adrian Sutil's Force India.

"We saw clearly that unfortunately because of the situation on the track we were stuck behind Sutil. We were not able to go forward and we were losing precious seconds which at the end of the day you can see were very important. So we said we needed the undercut in order to jump the ones in front; that was the thinking behind it."