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Ferrari expects more progress over next two rounds

ESPNF1 Staff
July 20, 2011 « Webber relationship 'misunderstood' - Vettel | »
Pat Fry (right) says there is more to come from Ferrari © Sutton Images
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Ferrari technical director Pat Fry is expecting to build on Fernando Alonso's victory at the British Grand Prix now that his team has a grip on its early-season issues.

Ferrari had a problematic start to the season after results in the wind tunnel failed to materialise on track, prompting an extensive review of the team's development process. Fry is confident that review was a success and that the major upgrade to the car at the British Grand Prix will breed further improvements at the next two races.

"There has been a lot of hard work going on for the last three or four months trying to close the gap and it's good to see that work pay off," he told Ferrari Racing News. "It shows that we understand the problems and we are going in the right direction. We will continue to develop the car as quickly as we can and each step we make improves our understanding and that will carry on to next year's car as well. There are quite a few more updates for the Nurburgring and one more update for Hungary. We are keeping the pressure on everyone and trying to develop as quickly as we can - particularly before the summer break."

Ferrari's early-season struggle came to a head at the Spanish Grand Prix when both drivers struggled to get the hard tyres to work and finished a lap down. Fry is confident the recent developments on the car have eased those problems, although he admitted he won't know for sure until the hard tyres are used again at the Belgian Grand Prix in late August.

"For our car the soft tyres work very well," he said. "We struggled on the hard tyre at Barcelona, but we have a lot of understanding and we think we've made some improvements. I think our qualifying pace on the hard tyre at Silverstone was a match for the others, so I think that shows that on one lap we are on top of things. We've yet to see if we've actually got the long-run pace on the hard tyre.

"Obviously on the soft tyre at Silverstone our pace once the tyres were warmed up was quite a lot better than most of the others. I think we're on top of the soft tyre performance, hard tyre [performance] we need to work at."

Team principal Stefano Domenicali said the Silverstone victory was important for morale.

"We know that Ferrari cannot be happy with winning just one race, but at least it was important for the morale of all the people and to make sure everyone feels this pleasant atmosphere of being successful," he said. "In the last 18 years Ferrari always won at least one grand prix. Eighteen years in a row means a lot, I don't think that a lot of teams can achieve this result. I think that we don't have to look at the picture of the classifications, we need to sure that race by race our performance will be at the highest standard.

"We want to win some other races, we know it is difficult because the competition is very, very strong and then we will see later on what is the outcome of the championship. But at the moment we don't look at that, we just fight race by race."