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Singapore performance a nasty surprise - Domenicali

ESPNF1 Staff
September 26, 2011 « Approach won't change - Horner | Renault's performance was 'embarrassing' - Boullier »
Fernando Alonso finished a distant fourth in Singapore © Sutton Images

Team principal Stefano Domenicali has admitted Ferrari's lack of performance at the Singapore Grand Prix came as a nasty surprise.

Ahead of the race Ferrari was confident it could snatch a podium, but Alonso struggled with tyre degradation and finished fourth, 55 seconds behind race winner Sebastian Vettel. The Spaniard has dropped to third in the drivers' championship and appeared downbeat on Sunday saying Ferrari now has the third fastest car.

Domenicali conceded the performance was not good enough, but is still confident Alonso can finish as runner-up to champion-elect Vettel.

"The result itself is not a surprise, but the performance definitely was, and in a bad way," Domenicali said. "We were slower than we expected and we must carefully analyse the reasons why things turned out this way. It will be a useful exercise for the coming races and also when looking to the future. Fernando did his best, staying in the hunt for a podium finish right to the end and he is still definitely in the running for second place in the drivers' championship."

Technical director Pat Fry said the main problem on Sunday was tyre degradation on the supersoft compound.

"We have to be honest and accept that this result reflects the relative strengths of the teams at the moment," Fry said. "Our car is third best and to finish fourth is more or less what we might have expected. We cannot say the same as regards our performance level, which did not match our expectations. Tyre degradation, especially with the supersoft, was very high and we must try and understand why."

Domenicali said Ferrari is still hoping to win races but that the remaining races would also serve as a research and development programme for next year's car.

"Now we must roll up our sleeves and maintain our motivation for the remaining races of this season, in which our aim has to remain the same, namely to try and win some races," he added. "At the same time, we must learn as much as possible about the behaviour of this car, to apply the lessons to the one that is currently at the design stage."