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Ferrari identifies reason for Alonso's DRS fault

ESPN Staff
April 24, 2013 « 'We need to make a lot more progress' - Whitmarsh | Mercedes to switch half its workforce to 2014 car by May »
Fernando Alonso' race was ruined when his DRS stuck open © Sutton Images
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Ferrari has pinpointed the reason for Fernando Alonso's DRS failure at the Bahrain Grand Prix and has vowed to work harder on reliability issues ahead of the coming races.

The team indentified the problem as a "breakage of a mechanical component within the system" that was "the first problem of its kind on this system seen in the three years during which it has been used". The breakage caused Alonso's DRS to remain open after it had been activated, significantly reducing his downforce level.

The issue ruined the Ferrari driver's race as he had to pit twice to fix it early in the race and then battled back up to eighth place without the use of the overtaking aid.

"It's hard to recall a race where so many things went wrong," team principal Stefano Domenicali said. "The DRS failure prevented Fernando, who yet again produced a great performance, from fighting Vettel for the win.

"Then for Felipe, there were the two tyre related problems that pushed him out of the points and prevented from getting the top five finish that was within his grasp. We had the potential to get these results, but we were unable to do so, partly because of external influences."

Domenicali said his team would redouble its efforts in order to prevent other reliability problems causing further issues.

"We must work with renewed attention on this front," he said. "We must also continue to develop the car and increase our understanding of the tyres, which is more crucial than ever this year.

"In these first four races of the season, we have not managed, for various reasons, to bring home the points that were within our grasp. That's why the gap to the top in both classifications seems quite large, but we must not be discouraged by this, quite the contrary, because we have seen so often, both in our favour and against, how things can change in a hurry.

"We believe in our ability to be in the fight for the titles right to the end and this time, we have been in that fight since the start, which has not been the case for a while. At the same time, we must be aware that in order to achieve our objectives, we have to be perfect in every area."