Ferrari: Title hard to repeat
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, January 12th 2009, 12:16 GMT|
Ferrari believe that the radical revamp of Formula One's regulations in 2009 will make it harder for them to end the season as world champions.
The Italian outfit have won the Constructors' Championship for eight out of the last ten years, although missed out on the drivers' crown last year to McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.
And although the team have enjoyed a great deal of staff stability over the winter, team principal Stefano Domenicali believes new aerodynamic regulations and radical cost-cutting measures have complicated their task.
Speaking at the launch of the new car at Mugello in Italy on Monday, Domenicali said: "Our aim is to rank among the first teams. We have always shown this over the years, but this year our project will be more complicated and more difficult.
"It means we will have to face this season with humbleness, without resting on our laurels....Life is tough, but when the going gets tough the tough get going."
Domenicali believes that the new regulations, which include a total ban on in-season testing, will lead to a strange season - although one he thinks they are as prepared for as ever.
"2009 will be a peculiar type of season, backed up with political and sporting events, and our aim is to rank among the first ones. We have two drivers who are highly motivated and this says it all.
"Kimi (Raikkonen) and Felipe (Massa) are with us to inaugurate the new car because it is a completely new project. We have done the first tests and are analysing all the new aspects of the new car with a very positive approach, and we are approaching a new season that will be stimulating from all points of views."
Domenicali's thoughts about the drivers are important because he believes they will play a greater role in success than they have in the past.
"I believe that the drivers will have more input," he explained. "So if our systems are 100 percent effective, then we will give the possibility for our drivers to have a performance delta that is much larger (than before).
"They will decide when to use KERS. They will have new tyres, and at best we have an engine with a different maximum rpm, so we will have to decide how to cope with it.
"We are also talking about a new wing and I guess drivers will have to become familiar with this new wing that has new dimensions, so they will have to be more careful. The drivers have a season in front of them when they will certainly play a more vital role."