Ferrari Boss Urges Team to Focus on Qualifying Speed
And repeating the history in Australia, Alonso proved that race Ferrari is much more competitive that qualifying Ferrari, as he almost made the podium and could have actually battled for 2nd place hadn't it been for his racing incident with Lewis Hamilton late in the race.
That being said, it's clear enough where Ferrari need to work in these early stages of the 2011 season: qualifying speed. And while technical director Aldo Costa emphasized the same idea prior to the race at Sepang, team principal Stefano Domenicali echoed it and underlined it once more after the grand prix weekend.
“It is clear that we need to have a better car, because if we want to match the qualifying pace of the other competitors that is what we need,” said Domenicali. “For sure we need to react quickly, even if it is a long season. From Saturday to Sunday, if you look at the race situation, they were two different worlds so we need to keep on working.”
“One element where we have to have a big step is to create better downforce on our car. That is the key of our performance because, if we do that, we can start much further in front on the grid.”
“It is clear that the main thing we have to focus on is how to work better in qualifying because the gap we saw on Saturday was too big. But if you take the comparison, and we need to take out for a while [Sebastian] Vettel at this moment, with Webber and the McLaren, I think we were there, we were fighting for a podium position in a crystal clear way.”
In addition, he publicly backed Alonso's driving style at Sepang, even though it eventually cost him a podium place on Sunday. A lot of his incident with Hamilton had to do with running on the dirty side of the track when he tried to overtake the British driver, which created low grip and eventually caused the two cars to make contact.