Q & A with Stefano Domenicali
Q. Could you clarify whether Kimi Raikkonen's KERS had a problem in the race?
Stefano Domenicali: Yes. After the flooded track, we had a potential problem on the insulation of the system. So because of safety reasons we decided not to continue racing.
Q. So even if the race had restarted, Kimi would have been out?
Q. How do you judge the weekend? Yesterday Felipe had a problem, while today Kimi had some big difficulties?
SD: Well, of course it is not a positive weekend. It is the second one in a row and it is not good, for sure. Anyway, what we have to do is react immediately. The people have to take their own responsibility for things, and this is important in the moment where either from the performance point of view, and the management point of view, things are not going well. This is for sure not acceptable, and I am not accepting that.
So what we have to do now on one side is to work very hard to try to anticipate as much as we can, all of the development on the car. Then on the other side, on the track, we want to make sure that people with certain responsibilities are taking the right decisions in the right way, because of course this is something that we cannot accept for the future.
Q. Who took the decision to put Kimi onto wet tyres?
SD: Well, you know, I don't want to say that. It is something that we have discussed internally. Respecting your question, of course. I can tell you the reason why was we had information that a big downpour was coming. We felt some drops of rain at that stage, so because of this that is why we took that decision.
Q. Wasn't it too much of a gamble though?
SD: For sure, retrospectively, yes. If after 30 seconds it would have been totally wet then it would have been different. Unfortunately it came six minutes later, so it was a different situation.
Q. Have you spoken to your President (Luca di Montezemolo) today?
SD: Yes, every day.
Q. And what did he say today?
SD: He is totally happy! What do you think that he would say? For sure he is not happy. This is normal for his position. I am not happy too. The only thing is that we need to make sure we do our job in the right way, and that is it.
Q. How quickly can you turn this situation around?
SD: We have to consider two things. On the performance point of view, we have to make sure that we are able to bring back in China something straight away. That should be the case already for Shanghai, something.
We know, from what we have seen, that it is on the aero side where we have to make a difference. So, it is just an aerodynamic development that is really needed. We need to have more downforce. This is the most critical point of the car that we have seen now.
So, this is the most important thing that we have to do at home. We have to work day and night, to try to anticipate all that we can to improve the performance of the car. Then the other thing on the performance - we need to see why on one side, our car for example on Friday, with lots of fuel, was very, very competitive on the soft tyres the more we were running. And yet with other tyres, it is very difficult.
So, there is a car that is very, very sensitive to the different fuel loads and to the typology of the tyres.
From the management point of view, of course we have to do an improvement - because it is something that we cannot accept any more for the future.
Q. Some team bosses are talking about a two-tier championship now - with the 'diffuser gang' and the non diffuser gang. Do you agree with that view?
SD: Well, that is pretty clear. It is pretty clear, but on that respect we have to wait and see what will be the decision on the 14th. And then we will see.
For sure, you will see that the potential of that development, if you started as we know which happened very early last year for those cars, is enormous. I am expecting that even in the case that it is considered okay, we, and all the other teams who start working on that diffuser, we will not find immediately that kind of performance. It is just a matter of time that you need to work with certain pieces in the wind tunnel.
Q. So are you saying that you do not have a double decker diffuser ready to go in China?
SD: No. I can confirm that is not going to happen.
Q. What is the mood like in the team, especially from the drivers?
SD: The team is not happy. How can we be happy about these two grands prix? We cannot be. But this is sport, this is our life. We need to react immediately. There is no reason to cry on our shoulders. We need to react and work. One thing that I think the team has learned in these two weekends, is that we were very strong in the past, even in difficult moments, and we need to be strong now.
We know our car is not the top number one, so this is the reason why all the people need to understand this difficult situation and we need to react. That is the only medicine that we need to understand.
Q. Is there any understanding as to why the car is quick on a Friday, we saw a similar thing in Australia, and then it fades as the weekend goes on?
SD: Yeah, this is a point we need to understand. Our car is very sensitive to some changes, and we need to understand why. It is not clear yet, and this is a big problem on the performance side.
Q. And what about Michael Schumacher's role? Should all these mistakes happen with a seven-time world champion on board?
SD: I was expecting that question, but I do not want to give an answer because I did not also answer who decided what here. So I don't want to. This is something we will discuss internally, it is not something that we will discuss outside.
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