Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo has thrown down the gauntlet. He’s publicly issued a tall order for team boss Stefano Domenicali and his team to win in Austin Texas in 10 days time. That may prove difficult but not impossible.
Last Sunday we saw Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel struggle and make a comeback-drive to third but he lost a few points to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in the process. Attrition is always a part of the equation in Formula One and anything can happen but Luca’s words aren’t banking on bad luck for Vettel, they’re asking for better performance period.
The Ferrari F2012 hasn’t been the strongest car on the grid all year but in the hands of Fernando Alonso, it’s been one of the most consistent and Abu Dhabi was meant to be an upgrade in performance that didn’t come to fruition. The team even spent two nights working diligently to get their upgrades to work and it didn’t pay off the way Scuderia’s engineers thought it would or should. Luca said:
“The weekend was hard to read,” Momtezemolo said. “That began with Saturday evening when I watched a situation that was not entirely clear.
“As far as Ferrari is concerned I want to understand why the new parts that we brought to the track only partially improved the performance of the F2012, which wasn’t enough to allow Alonso to fight for the very front positions on the grid – despite the contrasting expectations of our engineers.
“Yesterday Fernando nonetheless produced his umpteenth great race of the season, in which he again gave 120% and he managed to fight for victory right to the end.
“But it’s clear that we have to do more for the coming races. That is what I requested today of Domenicali and his team: we have 10 crucial days ahead, during which we must do everything to arrive in Texas with a car that can fight for the victory. Words count for nothing: this must be our target.”
A new circuit on untested pavement with harder compounds and, perhaps, cooler temperatures is a tall order for Ferrari. It’s the same for all the teams but Ferrari have a lot of ground to cover in order to win in Austin. Can Fernando and the F2012 find enough pace to put them ahead of Red Bull and McLaren? Will the circuit favor the Ferrari or will it favor Red Bull or possibly another team?