Ferrari must eradicate the mistakes that have plagued their below par results in recent races if they are to retake the initiative in the world championship.
That was the staunch warning given by Scuderia Team Principal Stefano Domenicali ahead of next week’s French Grand Prix.
The Italian outfit begins the summer European season on the back of disappointing showings in both Monaco and Canada. The team left Montreal with ten points, less than that of rivals McLaren who were knocked off their Monaco pedestal by Lewis Hamilton’s pit-lane faux-pas.
Kimi Raikkonen’s failure to notch up points caused by ploughing into the hapless Adrian Sutil in Monaco and then receiving similar treatment from Lewis Hamilton in Montreal contributed to the downturn. But uncharacteristic mistakes from the usually seamless Maranello squad also played their part.
In Monte Carlo Ferrari mechanics failed to fit Raikkonen’s tyres before the three minute countdown at the race start which resulted in a drive through penalty for the Finn. And a fortnight later in Montreal, a fuel rig mix up forced Felipe Massa to make an extra pit stop which demoted him to the rear of the pack
Team Principal Stefano Domenicali has rallied his Italian squad ahead of the summer season and said that the team must stamp out such errors in the forthcoming races if they are to take the fight back to BMW and McLaren.
“The near future for us is very clear,” affirmed the Italian. “We need to go back to our standard in term of points. We need to work, be humble, we know that the others are pushing.”
“We need to keep on working, no mistakes, reliability, we saw that we paid for a problem on the rig, and that’s it, that’s the way we have to tackle the next Grands Prix, not only France.”
However, despite the setbacks in the past couple of races Domenicali is adamant that the team have lost none of their fight and that they will be able to turn things around quickly.
“It is in these conditions when you really feel the need to react and be very strong because you see that we have all the elements that are ready for the fight. We know that our competitors are strong, no doubt, but the championship is long and we will see. We will fight until the end.”
Ferrari maintain their lead in the constructors’ championship going into France but with a significantly reduced margin of three points to the charging BMW Sauber squad. McLaren-Mercedes are twenty points adrift.
Felipe Massa meanwhile has emerged as the leading Ferrari man in the drivers’ championship, the Brazilian now tied on 38 points with Lewis Hamilton, four points adrift of newly crowned championship leader Robert Kubica.