Ferrari warned to improve

April 20, 2011 - 0:0

“This cannot and must not be the team’s level,” di Montezemolo said after Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso finished six and seventh respectively in the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday.

Ferrari have yet to finish on the podium in the first three races of the campaign, despite an encouraging pre-season in which it seemed they were second only to Red Bull. Alonso lies fifth in the drivers’ standings, 42 points behind leader Vettel, with Massa a further two points adrift in sixth.
“I want Ferrari to be at the level that both we and our fans demand it should be,” added di Montezemolo.
“It’s a very delicate moment. I expect our engineers to act with determination and know-how, unleashing the maximum of their capacity to improve the performance of the car in a short time.""
Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton believes his painful experience in Malaysia helped him win the Chinese Grand Prix.
Hamilton was unable to make his tyres last the full race distance in Sepang the previous week, having been too hard on them in qualifying.
As Formula One bathed in the warm afterglow of a thrilling race — with blue skies and sunshine replacing the smog and fog which had greeted the teams on their arrival in China last week — Hamilton said he and his McLaren team could now enjoy the mini-break before the Turkish Grand Prix on May 8 safe in the knowledge that they were closing the gap to Red Bull and confident that the championship was alive.
“It took the experience of the last race to be able to do what I did,” said Hamilton, who gave a fascinating glimpse in to how hands-on he is regarding his race strategy when he revealed that he would have forced his team to keep a set of soft tyres back for the race even if they had wanted him to use two sets in Q3.
“This weekend was done on strategy. I came here and my mind was set on the strategy,” Hamilton said. “When I sat down to speak to my engineers I knew that I was going to have a set of options
[soft tyres] left. I wasn’t going to let them make me use two. They were fine with it, but even if they had argued I would have made sure it would have happened and it worked.
“I wanted to do a three-stop in the race even though a two-stop was kind of looking better. I knew that with a three-stop I could have been a bit more aggressive with my tyres.”
That was certainly the case as Hamilton overhauled race leader Vettel, who was on a two-stop strategy, with just four laps remaining to record a victory that was inconceivable as recently as a month ago.
“It’s not relief. Even satisfaction doesn’t describe it,” Hamilton said. “If you really, really knew how bad the car was behaving in the winter. You would get to 10 laps
[before the tyres wore down] if you were lucky.
""But to get past that wouldn’t happen so whilst we were being quite cool about it, it was worrying for sure. This boost will last really well through this little break that we have.”