• Belgian Grand Prix

Domenicali blames tyre problems

ESPNF1 Staff
August 29, 2011 « Final Kubica operation a success | »
Stefano Domenicali says Ferrari is "lagging behind" when it comes to tyre performance © Getty Images

Stefano Domenicali says that Ferrari was unable to challenge for victory in the Belgian Grand Prix because it doesn't have the pace on harder compound tyres.

Ferrari struggled badly early in the season when running the hard compound tyre, with Fernando Alonso leading the Spanish Grand Prix on soft tyres before eventually finishing a lap down after a hard tyre stint. The team claimed to have solved the problem after being more competitive from the European Grand Prix onwards, but it suffered once again at Spa as Alonso fell off the pace in the final stint and eventually finished fourth.

Domenicali said that the it's like having two different cars depending on which tyre compound is being used.

"We definitely cannot claim to be happy with this result, but we must evaluate it objectively, without letting emotion get the better of us," Domenicali said. "We saw our car perform in two different ways, depending on what tyres it was running: very good on the Soft, especially with Fernando, but definitely lacking with the Medium.

"This explains how Fernando, who delivered an extraordinary performance, taking the lead and fighting for the win in the first stint, then gradually saw what would have been a very well deserved podium place slip from his grasp."

Domenicali said that Felipe Massa was even more effected by the medium compound, and said it was an area that Ferrari would have to work harder on.

"Felipe began his race in a very aggressive fashion, but then he paid an even heavier price for our chronic difficulties on the harder tyre… We know what is our Achilles Heel and we have to continue to work on it: we have made up ground in some areas, but on this one - I refer to the ideal window of operation for the tyres - we are still lagging behind."