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Ferrari expects McLaren to fight back

ESPN Staff
July 9, 2012 « Red Bull keen to sign Webber for 2013 | Silverstone looks to improve problem areas »
Stefano Domenicali thinks the championship is still wide open © Getty Images
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Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has urged his team to continue to work hard in order to remain at the top of the drivers' championship and hold off threats from McLaren and Lotus in the constructors'.

Fernando Alonso's lead in the title chase was cut to 13 points at Sunday's British Grand Prix after he finished second in the race to Red Bull's Mark Webber. A poor result for McLaren at Silverstone means Ferrari is now second to Red Bull in the constructors' championship, but Domenicali is not writing off the threat from both Lotus and McLaren before the end of the season.

"It's very tough," he said. "It is great to see that Fernando is still in the lead of the drivers' championship. And it is, from the sporting point of view, good to see Lewis losing some points and Sebastian too. It's also good to see Felipe having a great performance today because in the constructors' championship we are now second.

"If we look at the situation today with the first four cars split by nine seconds, we have made another step in the right direction from a performance point of view. But it is a very open championship and I don't believe that the others will stay behind. I'm sure that McLaren will fight to come back and the others are very close. Today I was impressed by the pace of Lotus and [Romain] Grosjean pitted on the first lap and came back to sixth."

Domenicali said Ferrari had been improving step by step since the in-season test at Mugello, but that he would not be happy until the F2012 is the fastest car on the grid.

Asked what the biggest single factor was in Ferrari's turnaround this season, Domenicali said: "I think it is not a single factor. It's a lot of things that are rolled together and it's a matter of keeping the right work code at the start, it's a matter of keeping the right approach to reliability, a matter of keeping the development coming week by week. The Mugello test was important but after that test every race we brought some other pieces. It's really important to keep that as a spring together with all the other areas. With such a tight competition, if you are behind in one area then it could be a problematic end to the season. I'm happy to see people concentrated on the job and did not care what [people were saying] and stayed concentrated. I'm not happy until the moment when really our car is the strongest. At the moment we are short, but we are getting very close."