Domenicali predicts closer title battle in 2011

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Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali expects the 2011 season to be harder than last year.

Speaking at the launch of Ferrari’s 2011 F1 car Domenicali said:

I think that there are too many very, very good teams so I would not underestimate anyone. I’m expecting Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren, and some other teams that will see something during the year.

And of course on the drivers’ side all the world championship drivers plus the new, talented drivers. So it will be a tough season, we know that.

This season will be as difficult as it was in 2010, maybe more, because I’m expecting more teams to win more races so the challenge will be much higher. And I’m expecting to have another end at the last race this year.
Stefano Domenicali

Fernando Alonso goes into the season looking to win his first world championship for Ferrari while Felipe Massa is under pressure after a poor season in 2010.

Domenicali added that it was an important year for both his drivers:

I briefly met them at “Wrooom” the other week in Campiglia. I saw both of them very motivated. They both realise that, for different reasons, it’s an important, crucial season for both of them and for the team.
Stefano Domenicali

Having fallen short of the title in the final round this year Domenicali’s goal for 2011 is a simple one:

Our goal is to win the championships. We know it is not easy but that, for sure, is the target we want to achieve.
Stefano Domenicali

Ferrari 2011 F1 car launch

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28 comments on Domenicali predicts closer title battle in 2011

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th January 2011, 11:58

    Domenicali predicts closer title battle in 2011

    Given that the Red Bull RB6 was so good that Sebastian Vettel would have comfortably won the 2010 World Championship with two races to spare were it not for reliability issues (and brainfade), I think a more accurate title would be the following:

    Domenicali hopes for closer title battle in 2011

    Red Bull aren’t too popular with some of the other big teams right now. Some of Christian Horner’s recent comments suggest the team will come under further scrutiny if they are faster this year. And some of the things said by the likes of Dieter Zetsche (I think it was him) show the car manufacturers in particular are upset that an energy drinks company won the World Constructors’ Championship.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th January 2011, 12:02

      Well a T-shirt manufacturer won it 15 years before that so maybe they should get over it.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th January 2011, 12:13

        They probably should, but at the same time, they do tend to jealously guard their position in Formula 1. After all, we saw it all through 2010 when Ferrari were acting like an aggressive bouncer at a night club in the way they kept trying to get the new teams booted out. They obviously feel threatened by Red Bull. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t like manufacturers that much – they’re so worried about their position and how it reflects upon them in commercial markets more than the actual racing. Sometimes I think Ferrari could do with a horrible season (and I mean worse than 2009) to remind them that once upon a time, they were the ones struggling. And it was at about the same time as that glorified t-shirt manufacturer was winning everything in sight …

      • LuvinF1 said on 28th January 2011, 16:18

        … and Ferrari proceeded to hire over a dozen of the employees from the T-shirt manufacturer in the following years.

  2. Icthyes said on 28th January 2011, 12:02

    Every year we hear predictions about things being closer but in the past few years it’s become more of a reality, albeit with some of the expected breakthrough teams staying in the midfield. But this year I really think we will see 4 or 5 different teams win a race. I don’t expect Renault to be title challengers just yet, though, although they’ll be a little closer.

  3. Bäremans said on 28th January 2011, 12:38

    “They both realise that, for different reasons, it’s an important, crucial season for both of them”

    I almost feel sorry for Massa:

    – He has to score as many points as possible to win the constructor’s title for Ferrari, but he will have to do so while finishing behind Alonso all the time, to not endanger his shot at the WC.
    – I share Domenicali’s expectation that the points will be divided over more drivers/teams this year, meaning every point becomes more important than ever.

    => unless Massa never manages to end up before Alonso during a race, I think we’ll be seeing him (being asked to) hitting the brakes Hockenheim-style more than once this season.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 28th January 2011, 12:55

      Please. Massa should be worried about one thing only – Trying to keep up with Alonso. I think he will get a fair shot at the title, but come a crucial time of the season, if he trails Alonso by a huge point deficit, he will have to move over. Thats just Ferrari’s racing philosophy, and its nothing to feel sorry about. He should let his pace do the talking.

  4. Rob Haswell said on 28th January 2011, 12:43

    Wow that is a lovely sweater.

  5. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 28th January 2011, 12:57

    Everyone know that Alonso is the better driver of the two what I want is that Ferrari treat both equally & Massa to comeback from his bad time to a motivated guy just he was in 2008.

  6. “They both realise that, for different reasons, it’s an important, crucial season for both of them”

    That says it all… Massa has just been ruled out as a contender by his own team before the seaon has even started… Well done Ferrari.

    • I don’t think it was meant like that. I think it was meant that after last year’s poor showing it’s crucial Massa steps up. Ferrari will let their drivers race until one becomes a clear favourite and then they’ll work for the team. That’s how Ferrari always do it (basically what Todfod said above).

      • wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 28th January 2011, 13:24

        I don’t think it was meant that, it was more of the fact that Massa needs to up his game & no one doubt that Alonso have more potential, I hope Massa comes back strong.

      • I think on second thoughts your right, It’s the cynic in me coming out… Realistically I can’t see Massa competing with Alonso. Not on last years form anyway. Which is a pity…

        To this I’ll add…. He wasn’t the best team mate for Alonso was he? :S

        • wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 28th January 2011, 13:42

          ” He wasn’t the best team mate for Alonso was he?”

          From Alonso point of view he was but for the competition he wasn’t.I think by applying more pressure on Massa will be any good to him?

        • Form’s temporary. Massa could bounce back and be his 08 self again. It’s just a wait and see case.

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