Ferrari aims for killer blow

Ferrari has its sights set on further ramming home its advantage this season by ensuring that the tyres that helped it annihilate the opposition in Hungary are back on the car for the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix in two week's time

Ferrari aims for killer blow

The all-new rear constructions lifted Ferrari well clear of the opposition at the Hungaroring last month but the team was not able to use them in the Belgian or Italian Grands Prix because it was not convinced about their durability at high speeds.

However, the team is hoping that a crunch series of tests this week will allow Bridgestone to give it the green light to bring them to Shanghai - which could be the most watched F1 race in history.

Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn said: "The tyre was a very good step forward but we don't have enough experience of it yet. It was developed for a specific purpose and we used it in Hungary where it was a success. But it needs to be developed to use it on other tracks."

A positive test for the tyre this week could be a body blow to Ferrari's rivals, who had left the Belgian Grand Prix optimistic that they had closed down the gap on the Italian outfit thanks to Kimi Raikkonen's brilliant victory.

Instead, the Scuderia's rivals have been left shell-shocked by the way in which the team finished 1-2 at Monza despite the disaster of Rubens Barrichello starting on the wrong tyre and Michael Schumacher spinning on the first lap.

And some paddock insiders worriedly point to the fact that the team's problems early in the race meant Ferrari was finally forced to show just how good its F2004 is. Rubens Barrichello's fastest race lap of 1m21.046s at Monza was an incredible 1.6 seconds faster than the best lap set by third placed Jenson Button.

BAR technical director Geoff Willis said: "Maybe we flushed out just how quick they are, or maybe the combination of the green track, it drying out and rubbering in gave them a window in which they were very strong.

"Certainly in the middle stint they looked very good and if you say that one Ferrari started on the wrong tyres and the other one spun, yet they still finished 1-2 it is pretty amazing."

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