Today’s Chinese Grand Prix was the third race in succession that neither Ferrari Driver scored points. This is the worst start for the Scuderia since 1992, and Team Boss Stefano Domenicali believes Ferrari’s season will only begin to turn around when the Formula One Circus returns to Europe.
Felipe Massa was on course for a strong finish until he was hit with an electrical failure, while Kimi Raikkonen finished 10th. The Finn complaining of poor grip.
Felipe Massa – DNF: “Obviously, I’m very disappointed and a bit upset but my motivation is still intact. All of us must work together to get out of this situation. The team is united and there is a real will to turn things round as soon as possible. We should quickly be getting some significant aerodynamic developments, but it’s true we also have to sort out as soon as possible our reliability problems, because if we want to win, first we have to finish the races. Today, I was in with a good chance of getting on the podium.
“I was third and lapping in the same times as the leaders, even though I had enough fuel on board to go for a one stop. The car was going well, except when running behind the Safety Car: at those times, there were a few moments when the power seemed to drop. Then, without warning, the accelerator would not work and the car went quiet. I would say to our fans that they should not give up on us, as this is a difficult moment, but the championship is still long.”
Kimi Raikkonen – 10th: “In the early stages, it wasn’t too bad but then, after my stop, I lost grip from the tyres and I was no longer able to push as hard as I wanted, because it meant the car was sliding a lot. A few times, the engine seemed to lose power, especially when I found myself close behind other cars, but then the problem went away on its own. Clearly the championship situation looks very difficult.
“We have made mistakes and we are not quick enough. In Barcelona, when we will have new aero parts, we should be able to pick up some of the grip we are lacking now. I am sure we can be competitive enough to win again but this work will take time. The team is motivated, I’m sure of that and we will all do our bit. Now it is easy to criticize, but we know how to turn things round.”
Stefano Domenicali: “Today, we are very annoyed about what happened to Felipe. He was driving an amazing race, when an electrical problem saw the engine die. He was third at the time and even though he had a heavy fuel load, he was lapping in the same time as the fastest and he would have almost certainly finished the race on the podium. Kimi switched his strategy, going from a two to a one stop, but he could not get higher than tenth. On his first set of tyres, his pace was reasonable, but with the second he suffered constantly from a lack of grip which kept him out of the points.
“The great shame is that at a time when technically we are not at our best, once again we failed to capitalise on circumstances. Now we look towards next weekend’s race in Bahrain in a realistic frame of mind: the car will be the same as here, even though we will look at running the KERS again. In the meantime, we have to work intensively on getting the new aerodynamic components to the race track, when the European part of the season gets underway in Barcelona.”
Chris Dyer: “We embarked on the race with the two drivers on different strategies and with the rain and the safety car periods, we managed to get ourselves into a good position, especially with Felipe, who at one point was third with a lot of fuel on board. Unfortunately, a software management problem meant the engine cut out and forced him to retire. It’s a real shame, because we could have got a good result.
“Right from the start, Kimi complained about the lack of visibility when following others and several times that the engine power was dropping due to the water, but above all he suffered with a lack of grip after his stop. In the meantime, we changed his strategy and he was unable to get any higher than tenth. Once again we’ve had reliability problems which prevented us from picking up valuable points.”