Formula 1 News

Ferrari in high spirits after shaking season-opening hoodoo

Alonso and Massa gave Ferrari their best start to a season since 2010.
Sunday, March 17, 2013

March 17th, 2013 (F1Plus / Jacob Polychronis) - Ferrari proved to be the most successful team of the Australian Grand Prix, taking the initial lead in the Constructor’s Championship. Ferrari claimed 30 championship points on the weekend, after Fernando Alonso finished in 2nd place, and Felipe Massa 4th.

Moods were good all round at Ferrari, including an exhausted Alonso. The Spaniard claimed a podium position, climbing three palces from his grid position of 5th. The race was difficult but rewarding as Alonso explained:

“It was not an easy race. In the beginning [there was] traffic with Sebastian and Felipe and then traffic with Sutil. [There were] some tricky moments. But in the end, as I said, [I’m] extremely happy. We had a difficult start to the season two years ago and last year as well and this year is very different. We feel much more optimistic.”

Massa expressed similar sentiments after he confirmed his return to form by completing a competitive Sunday qualifying and race. Massa speaking after the race said:

“I feel much better in the car – much more comfortable and also much more relaxed. I think the situation is much better, much more positive. I was happy with the start of the season.”

Ferrari’s early performance can be attributed to successful car development in the European winter. Massa described to f1plus.com, the dramatic improvement in vehicle performance when compared to the same time last year.

“Definitely [the car is more developed than last year]. I’m not comparing with the cars at the front like Red Bull for example. I’m comparing with the cars behind like Force India, Williams, Mercedes. I think if you compare the last race three races we were starting some behind Force India, some behind Williams. The difference between us and these teams in qualifying, for example, is quite good. So I think this shows that we stepped forward compared to last year.”

Ferrari team principle, Stefano Domenicali, attempted to restrain any runaway expectations while addressing the media on Sunday night.

“I believe that the first race of the season is too early to understand exactly the proper picture. Red Bull has always been the best in the last couple of years and so they will try to understand what was not right in relation to tyre management today. But we need to be focused on our job, try to maximise our situation and our package.”

Many would argue that it is wise to approach the result in a cautious fashion, especially considering the Red Bull was blisteringly fast in every session this week besides the race. Should Red Bull reduce tyre degradation, they will be a very tough outfit to beat.

The season resumes next weekend in Malaysia.

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