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Domenicali bullish over Ferrari development
Stefano Domenicali has confidence in Ferrari's development programme despite Fernando Alonso's dwindling lead in the championship.
Alonso retired from the Japanese Grand Prix as Sebastian Vettel went on to take a dominant victory for Red Bull to reduce the gap at the top of the standings to just four points. Felipe Massa was second for Ferrari but over 20 seconds behind Vettel, and it has now been six races since the team was able to mount a serious challenge for victory when Alonso won the German Grand Prix.
Asked if Ferrari is losing out to its rivals in the development race, Domenicali said: "I don't know.
"We need to stay very rational because, for example, we saw McLaren had an unbelievable pace in Singapore and everyone was saying 'Oh, they are flying' and this weekend obviously we didn't see that kind of situation. We saw this weekend for sure that Red Bull was impressive, so we need to see what we can do in order to match their development or if this track was better for them. I don't know, but for sure we need to know that the others are pushing a lot and we need to make sure we are keeping the same kind of pressure - positive pressure - on our engineers to make sure that we deliver the development."
Domenicali also denied that the car hadn't been updated recently, and said it was quick enough in race trim if only the team could improve its one lap pace.
"When I hear sometimes that we are not developing the car for many grands prix, it is not true. The reality is that the level of competition is very high and we need to improve the qualifying pace for sure because that's not really the level that we should be. During the race you've seen in normal conditions it's a different story, but unfortunately when you start behind anything can happen and unfortunately that has happened with Fernando in Belgium and here; even though it's two different situations because [in qualifying] we were unfortunately in that position because of something that wasn't possible to control."
When asked if there was a big upgrade planned for any of the upcoming races, Domenicali said the priority would be ensuring each new part delivered performance on all remaining circuits, having previously expressed worries over its wind tunnel correlation.
"It depends what is a 'big step' for you; for sure we'll try to bring 'steps'. The reality of it will be seen on the track, but for sure the target is that every race there has to be something new that will have to be incorporated on the fact that we have to improve the performance on every track, which is different from race to race as we have seen up until now."