Ferrari to probe below par performance

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says the Italian squad need to analyse why they were no match to McLaren's Lewis Hamilton at the Chinese Grand Prix

Ferrari to probe below par performance

Ferrari were very strong in the previous two races in Singapore and Japan, but both Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen were unable to pose a threat to Hamilton in today's race.

The Briton finished over 14 seconds in front of Massa, who will go into his home race with a seven-point deficit to Hamilton.

Domenicali admitted his team will have to look at the reasons why their performance was below par this weekend in order to make sure they are competitive in Brazil.

The Italian also conceded Hamilton was in a different league today.

"They (McLaren) were simply much faster than us and this is the reason why I have to say that if you consider what we could achieve in these conditions we achieved the maximum, because honestly today Lewis was in another league, he was driving perfectly, fast, consistent and we couldn't even think of attacking him," Domenicali told reporters.

"The thing that we need to understand, going to Brazil, is why and how this is possible, considering that in Singapore and in Fuji we were really fast, both in the fast laps and in the pace.

"And so we need to work and understand because for sure we cannot be in Brazil fighting - as we said at the beginning of the season - for the titles in the condition where our car is less competitive in these conditions, with such a big gap to our main competitors, to McLaren.

"I don't expect that in one week all the others have made a step which we haven't, so it's something connected to our performance, this is why we need to work hard because for sure we are ahead of the last race of the season and we need to make sure that we do everything in order to make sure we have a good car for the last Grand Prix."

Massa, who looked set for third before Raikkonen let him pass, will need to outscore Hamilton by eight points in his home race in two weeks' time to win the title.

And Domenicali reckons the Brazilian will be feeling less pressure in the final race than he was in China.

"I don't think so because I think that today was the most tense race for Felipe because today, you know that there was the possibility for Lewis to be the champion at this Grand Prix," Domenicali added.

"Considering the fact that he has seen that he was not competitive enough to beat Lewis today, and the fact that you never know about the reliability, you have to really arrive at the point where you say 'listen, OK, we've done what we could have done, as a maximum.'

So I am expecting Felipe to be more - I don't think it's correct to say relaxed - but more tranquil in Brazil rather than here, and I'm pretty sure that he will handle the pressure in a positive way.

The team boss also rejected talks of controversy over the move to allow Massa to take second from Raikkonen, saying McLaren had done the same before.

"You don't remember what happened in Germany and no one has complained, between Kovalainen and Hamilton? Today was pretty normal, I would say.

"The drivers know the team's interest without saying anything so... I respect what Lewis has said in the press conference. Lewis said it's a team game and we did a good job."

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Q & A with Stefano Domenicali

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