Analysis and reactions
Maranello, 6 April – The last members of the team came back this morning from Sepang, where the Malaysian GP was held on Easter Sunday. In the afternoon Chairman Luca di Montezemolo met Stefano Domenicali and the technicians for the traditional debriefing after the races in the Scuderia's offices, where the whole weekend and the problems, which had appeared, where analysed.
Naturally the team wasn't happy about the result, inferior to the expectations and the potential, which was there to be used. The mistake made during Q1 negatively conditioned the whole race: from the 19th and the 21st position on the grid for Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa one could hardly expect more than a place in the points without any external elements – rain or safety-car – considering how the race went. The objective was partially reached with Felipe, who came in seventh, while the engine failure took away Fernando's two points, which would have been precious anyway. The disappointment about a negative weekend should not wipe out the satisfaction about a start in the season with the two Scuderia drivers on the first and second place in the Drivers' standings and the team leading in the Constructors' standings. We just need to remember that last year after three races there weren't any points gained yet and the men and women in Maranello are proud of the work done so far this year, knowing that they still have to work hard especially regarding reliability and performance.
Reliability was also the main topic of today's analysis during the meeting. Not only was there a problem with the engine of car number 8, but also one with the gearbox, which negatively conditioned the race of the Spanish driver as of the formation lap. Furthermore both Sauber single-seaters were complaining about an engine problem: De La Rosa could not even start and Kobayashi had to stop after eight laps. The analysis confirmed that the problems on the Swiss cars didn't have anything to do with Alonso's engine failure, but were caused by a malfunction of the electronic engine management. The failure of Alonso's V8 happened two laps before the end of the race, without any parameter showing any sort of anomaly, which means that there is no connection between this problem and the one in Sakhir, caused by a momentary overheating, which lead the team to the decision to change the engines on both cars after the qualifying for the Bahrain GP. It's possible that the problem with the gearbox could have caused some consequences for the engine, used in an anomalous way for the whole race, but it's clear that a more precise analysis can only be made when the engine is back at the Works on Wednesday afternoon.
As far as the performance at the Malaysian GP is concerned the competitiveness of the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's package has been confirmed, which doesn't mean that the team is not working hard on improvements. The goal is to bring new elements to every race and they are giving it all to have something significant also on the occasion of the Chinese Grand Prix.