Stefano Domenicali says Malaysian GP win a boost for Ferrari
|By Edd Straw and Jonathan Noble||Monday, March 26th 2012, 09:24 GMT|
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali hopes that Fernando Alonso's surprise victory in Malaysia acts as a spur for his team to do even more to develop its car.
Although Alonso drove brilliantly to deliver a win at Sepang, the outfit is under no illusions that its F2012 needs to be improved a lot before it is a genuine match for title favourites McLaren and Red Bull.
The team is expected to bring some updates to the next race in China. But its major focus will be on big upgrades for the Spanish Grand Prix, with the car set to feature a new sidepod, exhaust and rear bodywork solution.
Domenicali insists that there will be no easing off now that Ferrari has won a race, and if anything it should actually result in an even bigger push from the team.
"As you can imagine I'm very happy about the result of today, because considering that we have not been at all happy about the level of our performance, you look at the numbers and we're leading the championship with Fernando, which is really great news," explained Domenicali.
"But the result doesn't change what we're doing at home, because we need to improve the performance of this car. And what I urged to my people is to make sure this happens as soon as possible.
"This is an emotional moment; a breath inside a lot of pressure and I hope it can be a boost for the people at home to bring more development in the areas that I told to you as soon as possible."
Domenicali revealed after the race that he was not sure Alonso would win it until he actually approached the line.
"To be honest, [it was] at the last corner," he said. "If you put everything on the table, the weather conditions, that if you're looking at the forecast every 10 minutes, there may be another shower, maybe not.
"The second thing was if you take the chance to change the tyres or not. If it's going to rain again you need to change for new intermediates because the tyres are destroyed. We were on the limit of this because we were down to the canvas.
"We had to put the dry tyres on, and in those conditions I saw Perez getting closer and closer. Then he did a mistake and we had a gap with a few laps to go, but we still had a forecast of more rain to come. So it was honestly at the last corner."