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Ferrari 'firmly believes' it can win again in 2011

ESPNF1 Staff
October 17, 2011 « Hamilton and Button lead Wheldon tributes | Vettel admits he was 'stupid' »
Ferrari is hoping to take one more victory before the end of the season © Getty Images
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Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali believes his team "should" still win another race before the end of the season, despite admitting it has the third fastest car.

At Sunday's Korean Grand Prix, Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finished fifth and sixth behind the Red Bulls and McLarens, which dominated the weekend. Domenicali said it was "logical" that the cars should finish in that order because of their relative pace, but added that he still believes a Ferrari victory is possible before the end of the season to add to Alonso's success at the British Grand Prix.

"We have the third best car in terms of its potential and we finished the race in fifth and sixth places," Domenicali said. "Our race pace is definitely better than our outright performance in qualifying and that means we end up almost always fighting for a place on the podium, but if one does not start from the two front rows it becomes difficult to target the top places.

"Now we must try and bring our season to a close in the best possible way, because we firmly believe we should still be able to take at least one more race win. It will be extremely difficult, given how our rivals are doing, but we will definitely be trying."

He added: "Having congratulated Sebastian Vettel last weekend in Suzuka, now it is right and proper that I do the same to Red Bull for taking the Constructors' title: they have the best car in the pack and this result is the logical consequence of that. Logic also dictates our result in this race

Ferrari technical director Pat Fry agreed that qualifying is the team's weakness at the moment.

"This Sunday is a mirror image of Saturday, with an identical result," he said. "We certainly can't be surprised by it: we are well aware that if we qualify on the third row, it becomes difficult to fight for the very top places, unless something happens to those who start ahead of you and everything goes perfectly."

Ferrari tested a new front wing on Alonso's car over the weekend, which is part of its development programme for 2012. Alonso qualified behind Massa but finished the race 9.4 seconds ahead of him once he had leapfrogged his team-mate at the final pit stops.

"We tried a new front wing here and we made the most of that to gather as much data as possible to use on the 2012 car and the very earliest indications are positive," Fry said. "However, we now need to study all the information very attentively. We have to improve our qualifying performance, we are well aware of that, if we want to be at the level of the best."