Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Shanghai, 2013

Ferrari must improve qualifying “very soon”

2013 Bahrain Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Shanghai, 2013Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says improving their qualifying performance remains an urgent priority.

“We are not yet at the level we need to be at in qualifying,” said Domenicali after the Chinese Grand Prix, “but it’s hard to judge the level of our competitors because we have seen no one team dominate in the three races so far.”

“Clearly some of our rivals are very strong and matching them is a target we need to achieve very soon.”

Both Ferrari drivers have started inside the top five for all three races so far, but Felipe Massa’s second place in Malaysia has been the team’s only appearance on the front row.

Domenicali added there was a strategic imperative to qualifying higher up the grid: “It?s only by securing the best possible grid positions that we can use the full extent of the potential offered by our race pace. If you start from the front, you can manage the tyres in a better way too.”

He said Massa’s race in China showed the difficulty of managing the tyres when not leading: “I am just sorry for Felipe who was robbed of the chance to finish nearer the front, because of an issue with tyre graining.”

The team need to continue the momentum from Shanghai into this weekend’s race, added Domenicali: “If we want to achieve our ambitious targets over the course of the year, we need our drivers to perform well and the fact that both of them are in the top five of the classification after three races is important, but it is down to us to give them a good car.

“So we need to knuckle down to work to ensure we are well prepared and keep the momentum we found in Shanghai running all the way through this Bahrain weekend.”

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Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo