Italy surprised by Ferrari's Aus shocker
(GMM) The Italian press reacted with surprise and disappointment following Ferrari's terrible start to the 2009 championship.
The double retirement in Australia was reportedly the Maranello team's worst start to a season since South Africa in 1992, when both scarlet cars expired with engine failures.
"The Ferrari was slow and fragile," Corriere dello Sport summarized of the Albert Park race, where Felipe Massa stopped with a mechanical problem and Kimi Raikkonen was asked to retire with a few laps to go, having survived a spin into the wall.
Also referring to the F60 single seater, a standout of the winter test season, Tuttosport added: "It was much slower than expected."
Tire management and poor strategy choices no doubt contributed to Ferrari's performance, and team boss Stefano Domenicali revealed to reporters that engineers will be looking closely at how the weight implications of the KERS system played a role.
"In my opinion, apart from the Brawns, we are competitive. The solution for Malaysia is to work, work, work," said Felipe Massa, who was seventh fastest in qualifying.
While Ferrari is hoping for better this weekend, F1's other 2008 title protagonist McLaren knows it faces an even harsher challenge on the long curves of Sepang.
"There probably will be a bigger difference between us and the Brawn car (in Malaysia)," world champion Lewis Hamilton admitted. "We'll be a little further behind.
"Hopefully by China and from then on we will be a little bit closer," he added.