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Focus on drivers as teams look to 2011 - Domenicali

ESPNF1 Staff
September 27, 2010 « Heidfeld confident he will stay in F1 next year | »
Fernando Alonso is closing on championship leader Mark Webber © Getty Images

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali believes the title will now be decided by a psychological battle between the drivers and a reliability contest between the teams, as development of the cars slows and the focus shifts to 2011.

After winning the Singapore Grand Prix, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso moved to second in the drivers' championship, just 11 points off leader Mark Webber, with the top five covered by just 25 points.

While Red Bull still appears to have an overall performance advantage, the difference is now marginal and dependant on the circuit type. Ferrari is at a disadvantage as Alonso has used all eight of his allocated engines for the season, and will have to make two used engines last the rest until Abu Dhabi.

Ferrari experimented with new gearbox parts in Singapore, but Felipe Massa's car stop on the track in the first session of qualifying as a result. Domenicali has now told his team to focus on making the cars go the distance, after Alonso's pole position and win proved Ferrari had closed the performance gap.

"I said to my guys, to work very hard on reliability and we paid a big price this weekend as a team," he told reporters after the race. "The car seems to be better in terms of general performance, also on this kind of track."

He said Ferrari would make minor tweaks to the F10 but that the onus was now on the drivers.

"We will have some little updates, but nothing major," Domenicali said. "Now I think a lot will be in the head of the drivers, in the heads of the people who have to work, and the reliability, rather than an incredible improvement in performance."

He said he was confident that Red Bull and McLaren would also slow the development of their 2010 cars as the focus shifts to 2011.

"We know that all the teams now are in a period where they have to switch to put all the resources into the new car, otherwise they will be very late in the end. I think it will be a very interesting end to the season for sure."