Maranello, 4 April –The Melbourne race left a bitter taste in the mouth. There were no plus points, the two drivers finished up against the protective barrier but luckily both escaped unhurt. The gap to the top of the classification is a substantial one. The only point of note is that once Michael’s tyres reached the right temperature, he kept pace with the best. This signifies that there is the potential to be competitive. What we have to do is put together the pieces of the puzzle and be competitive for an entire weekend and not only a single phase of the race. We have to try to be quick in qualifying to avoid those inevitable risks at the start that disrupted Felipe’s race. He was not at fault in the incident that ended his weekend a few hundred metres from the start. We have to place Michael in a position where he is not handicapped at the start and can exploit the innate sense of rhythm that sets him apart from the rest.
Now we have two weeks of work ahead of us - there will be little time for rest – before our home race at Imola. From today we will be at Vallelunga for the first of three days of testing. On the track will be Luca Badoer in the 248 F1 and Marc Gené at the wheel of the limited power V10 F2004. Michael will appear on the track tomorrow and Thursday.
Next week we are off to Barcelona. On Tuesday 11 it will be the turn of the test drivers then, from Wednesday to Friday, Michael will partner Felipe. We have important development work to carry out on a new aerodynamic package, new rear suspension and engine modifications that should resolve the problems that have recently compromised the car’s reliability. We will also be working hard on the tyres to try to get the best out of them even when we have conditions similar to those experienced in Melbourne. As you can see, there is a lot to be done. At Imola we have to get back to winning ways.