Domenicali on: Car, points, pit stops and Schumacher

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Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari team boss, took the opportunity in Madonna di Campiglio at the 2010 Wroom event to comment on Ferrari’s car launch, the possible regulation changes and former ambassador Michael Schumacher.

Domenicali

Speaking to the press, Domenicali said that Ferrari would launch their 2010 competitor on the 28th of January and that fans could follow the launch online at Ferrari.com.

“Considering the problems we had in some of the last seasons it will be fundamental to start with the reliability, relying immediately on a good performance and continuing the car’s development until the end of the season. We’ll present the car on 28 January in Maranello with a ceremony dedicated to the media and to our partners, while the fans can follow the presentation live on Ferrari.com. Unfortunately the new context regarding the rules foresees just four test sessions in February and at the moment it’s impossible to determine where we are compared to the others. The team is working hard and there’s the will to get back to winning.”

Reliability is always a key factor for any time but Domenicali seems focused on this issue given last years performance. To win race you must finish them but there is little doubt that the F2009 car lacked pace as well as any reliability concerns. In order to compete at the sharp end of the grid again, Ferrari will need both.

Discussing the regulations, it appears a meeting of the F1 Commission will be held on February 1 to discuss several initiatives. One of the initiatives is apparently the current scoring system and a potential change. As we discussed here, Domenicali could be looking for a point for pole position as well as adopting the newer points system recommendation that we discussed here.

Another potential change might be Ferrari’s request to allow for two or more pit stops to change tires instead of one. The reason behind it is explained as such:

“I don’t think that more petrol on board will be dangerous, but it will be the different number of pit stops and the consequential congestion of the pit lane, which will make the difference.”

Would this be a mandatory pit stop? Can congestion play a pivotal role is scuppering a teams race win if traffic gets in the way? NASCAR, to its credit, has done a yeoman’s job of inventing the mass pit stop and seems to manage 43 big, heavy cars in the pit lane at the same time but the track layout and pit configuration is a lot larger and more open.

Will a staggered pit stop routine be a reasonable choice to eliminate the congestion? What do you think will prevent any mishaps due to traffic? As we saw in 2009, Red Bull Racing had some difficulty releasing Mark Webber in to oncoming traffic and this could be compounded by the feverish nature of the human spirit to get out in front of a competitor knowing there is no refueling stop to make a strategic, timed pass for the position.

When asked about former Ferrari ace Michael Schumacher, Domencali said the very thing I was thinking:

“Naturally seeing him yesterday with the red helmet he wore when he was with us, it seems that also he has some difficulties drawing a line under the past.”

So what do you think? Does the points system accommodate the new teams? Will a pole position point make the show stronger and which initiatives do you think, offered by FOTA, will make it to the show?

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