Ferrari Has To Keep Pressure On Red Bull, Says Domenicali
Stefano Domenicali says that Ferrari has to put pressure on Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull, and not just rely on taking advantage of any problems for the championship leaders.
Domenicali said after seeing Vettel’s pace in FP2 Friday that the Italian team’s main rival could be hard to beat in Monza.
“From what we have seen today, for sure above all in the second session, Red Bull seems to be very strong,” said Domenicali. “I have to say, we have seen them doing a lap time immediately, so normally this is a good sign. Therefore, I am expecting, for sure, them to be very strong. I think it will be a tough weekend, for everyone, because with this kind of temperature also the car will be under pressure.
“At the end of the day we need to understand all the data we have collected and make sure that we have selected the right configuration for the car for tomorrow, and this is really the work that the engineers will do tonight. I really hope that we can do a good weekend because in front of our people it will be very important and, of course, as we know, if you want to put the pressure on the guys who are in front of us, we need to try to be faster and faster, and it is not enough to try to be very close to them in case they have an issue and then be ready, otherwise we will lose our opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Domenicali said there was no news on Felipe Massa’s future: “No, but I think that in that respect nothing has changed in our position. I know that everyone is waiting for information, waiting for news, as they have for all the summer, I have to say, because if you look back, all the summers were like that. Nothing to add on what we said a couple of weeks ago. We will take our time; there’s no rush to make a decision.
“We want to make sure that we make the right decision. We will support Felipe because this is absolutely clear: He’s a great guy, he’s very much a team player and this is something that we will discuss at the appropriate time.”
Vettel Cautious Despite Monza Pace
Sebastian Vettel played down his form at Monza Friday, despite setting a lap .6 seconds quicker than anyone else in FP2.
Vettel insisted that the performance flattered him, and that the morning session – when he was fourth behind two Mercedes and a Ferrari – was more indicative of how qualifying might play out.
“It was a good day, that’s for sure, but we’ve got our feet on the ground,” he said. “It’s still only a Friday. I don’t know, maybe the others had some problems. But regarding ourselves, it was a good day. I didn’t have any issues with the car, it felt pretty comfortable.
“I’m sure it will be very tight, as we saw in first practice. Second practice, if you look at it too much, is a bit of a distraction. I think it will be close tomorrow in qualifying, with many cars in a couple of hundredths.”
Vettel said the car wasn’t quite right yet: “Obviously, you always try to optimize. There’s always two or three things. Even though the car was great, there are still two or three corners where you slide a bit more than you like.
“Surely today was positive, but it’s a long weekend. We’ll see what we can improve for tomorrow. I thought the balance was pretty strong — that’s a positive, but there’s always something that you can fine-tune.”