Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2011

Strategy more important than pole – Domenicali

F1 videoPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali believes having the right strategy will be more important than getting the best position on the grid in 2011.

Domenicali said: “From what we have seen in winter testing, these tyres are very different to those we used in the past.

“Therefore, we have to adopt a fresh approach and clearly, from what we have seen so far, the number of pit stops required to complete a race distance competitively will be higher than before.

“This is significant in terms of teamwork at the races, because more pit stops means the role of team members becomes even more important in terms of deciding the final outcome of the races.

“A further impact of having more pit stops is that possibly qualifying and therefore grid position will be less important than in 2010.

“In simple terms it is more likely that a car that has not set the fastest time and taken pole position can still go on to win the race. It will be absolutely vital to have the right strategy in order to win the race.”

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2011
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2011

Heading into the first race of the season Domenicali said his drivers are “motivated for different reasons”.

Fernando [Alonso] has done a fantastic winter in terms of preparation and testing and is looking forward to getting to Melbourne, because after an incredible second half to last year, he wants to cancel out what happened at the last race in Abu Dhabi.

Felipe [Massa] is now very strong mentally and he is looking forward to what will be a very important season for him.”

He added: “As we prepare for the first race, I would like to single out one group of our fans and hold them close to our hearts right now and that is our fans in Japan and indeed all the people in Japan.

“What has happened there is more important than anything to do with our sport and serves to remind us what are the priorities in our lives.?óÔéĽ?Ř

More from Domenicali in the video above.

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37 comments on “Strategy more important than pole – Domenicali”

  1. That’s one Pitwall team who will want to raise their game this year!

    1. Ross Brawn will have to use his brain again after 1 year break. Strategy may not be as important as good old days of fuel strategy but still tyres will be very important.

    2. I wonder if they’ll sack him too if he’s wrong.

  2. So maybe Ferrari is having a tought about trying how a race would pan out starting on the harder compound?
    Would they do that with Massa? Rather unlikely, given he is more the guy for the good run from a start at the front of the grid.

    But Alonso made good starts from the 2nd and 3rd row in his championship years work. And he is now stranger to going for unlikely pit strategies, sometimes to good results (2008 had a lot of those, not just the Singapore one)

    1. DeadManWoking
      22nd March 2011, 10:00

      Weather predictions for Sunday are swinging towards sunny and warm so the tires should hold up better. The faster cars in Q3 will probably run softs and burn them up in the opening laps of the race to build as big a lead as possible before their stop. Those starting on hards will have to take it easy on the heavy fuel load in the beginning in order to make their longer run strategy work.

    2. I agree BasCB, though I’m not sure how it would all play out when EVERYBODY is focusing on race strategy. mmmm…. all I can say is that I won’t be surprised if unexpected things happen at the start of the season (I won’t be surprised or displeased).

  3. Quoting Stefano…

    “Felipe is now very strong mentally and he is looking forward to what will be a very important season for him.”

    In other words: Deliver or else


    1. Yep. No surprises there..

    2. Exactly what I read.

    3. Yes. :-)

      “Felipe [Massa] is now very strong mentally…”

      so he wasn’t before. That’s a bit of an admission.

      I think it would make sense for teams in the opening races to run a split strategy. One guy on softs and one on hards. I have a bit of a worry that this season might be a go slow contest.

      1. It is an admission but I think to a certain extent Massa would agree with that himself.

  4. Enough talk and theory! Let’s race! I’m far too excited for this weekend. I will be doing an all nighter on Friday for the practice sessions! Apparently practice is due to be wet!

    Watch out for Massa on tyres he appears more comfortable with…

    1. Massa, along with Button and Schumacher will have no problems whatsoever getting heat into these Pirelli tyres. So any problems they had last season in that respect should be none existent this season.

  5. hmmm….slow and steady wins the race. No, really!

    1. Might be Jenson’s year after all

      1. It will be the year for whoever does the best with what they got.

        1. how is that different from any other year

          1. It isn’t any different. I was just replying to the Todfod’s post. :)

        2. Isn’t that the shortes possible summary of the entire sport?

    2. C’mon SAKON!

      1. LOL. If he only made the grid.. Sakon and HRT would be the pairing to look out for.

  6. Strategies will depend on how the different compounds behave in relation to the level of fuel that’s in the car.
    If there is not much difference in the degradation between a full or an empty tank, we might indeed see people trying some different strategies.
    However, if there is a clear relation – let’s say the softs go away much quicker with a full tank, compared to when it’s empty – most teams will probably be on similar strategies. Especially in the first races, that is. If a team finds devolpments during the season that makes the tires last longer, we may see some different strategies as well.

  7. No doubt about it! The words ‘tyres’ and ‘strategy’ will be heard quite a bit during the 2011 season.

    Soft tyres on a full tank of fuel…that’s got to be good for no more than 10 laps at the most! Will qualifying on the hard tyre make up for the shortfall in the soft tyre that has already given up its best?

  8. Yeah I was getting sick and tired of the constant and endless talk on tyres. Looks like the arrival of Pirellis is about to take that to a whole new level.
    Anyway come on Melbourne yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. so pit strategy will once again be the most important part of a race, oh joy :(

    i can see the overtaking primarily been done in the pit lane again :(

  10. I’m inclined to agree with Stefano Domenicali on this one. I can see drivers cursing if they make it through to Q3 given that their rubber will be useless or borderline destroyed…perhaps a little far-fetched? ;)

  11. If at the first race the 10th place driver wins the race will F1 have a triumph or a disaster?

    1. Neither. The consensus from those of us not prone to knee-jerk reactions, as it was after Bahrain last year, will be “Wait and see.”

  12. No mention of Felipe wanting to win?

  13. let’s see how the weather pans out first. most forecasts say dry weekend apart from these two which have varied-


    1. Have a look at the Australian Government Bureau of Metereology website – that will probably give the most accurate forecasts


  14. I still have a concern over the marble build-up were are likely to see with these new Pirelli’s.

    I believe the GP2 cars are running the same compounds as F1 this year & I noticed at Imola over the weekend that there was a huge ammount of Build-Up off the racing line which matches what was senn at all the F1 test’s.

    By lap 10 of the GP2 feature race Build-Up was noticeable & by laps 15-20 there was enough to hinder the racing & nobody looked to be going offline even to look at trying to make a pass.
    Before the start:

    After 27 laps:

    If we see the same thing with F1 then we will may well see overtaking become more difficult after about 20 laps. I think back to Montreal 2006, Heavy tyre wear that race & a ton of marbles which had a negative impact on racing after around 20-25 laps, That race ended up been really dull after that.

    1. Yeah, the marbles could be a big issue, and completely negate everything they’re trying to do with the DRS and KERS.

  15. I know Alonso will do good doesn’t matter how good is the car but what about Massa.This is the year that he proves what he is.He have to ment5ally very strong or else he will have to pay for that.

  16. Pit stop strategies will determine the outcome of every race in 2011. This makes me wonder why on earth Formula 1 decided to ban mid-race refuelling then.

    1. Officially it was to cut costs as the big fuel rigs weighed a lot which added significantly to transportation costs.

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