After win in China, Domenicali not getting carried away
Following Ferrari's first victory of the season in Shanghai, Team Principal Stefano Domenicali is keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground ahead of this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, with the Italian acknowledging that the higher temperatures and abrasive surface of the Sakhir circuit may lead to more issues with tire degradation.
Although Fernando Alonso claimed a commanding victory in Sunday’s race, teammate Felipe Massa struggled in the middle-phase of the race with tire graining, and Domenicali is wary that a poor qualifying will adversely affect race strategy.
"It was a great weekend for us, the team did extremely well," said Domenicali, "Fernando drove an extraordinary race and I am just sorry for Felipe who was robbed of the chance to finish nearer the front, because of an issue with tire graining."
"We are not going to get carried away, as it’s just one race, one win in a season that’s got a very long way to go yet. We are not yet at the level we need to be at in qualifying, but it’s hard to judge the level of our competitors because we have seen no one team dominate in the three races so far. Clearly some of our rivals are very strong and matching them is a target we need to achieve very soon. Because it’s only by securing the best possible grid positions that we can use the full extent of the potential offered by our race pace. If you start from the front, you can manage the tires in a better way too."
Although remaining cautious about the chance for back-to-back victories, the Italian admitted that the win in China gives the team good reason to be confident for the forthcoming races.
“The result is definitely a nice boost as we prepare to start again in just a couple of days in Bahrain.” he added, “We need to knuckle down to work to ensure we are well prepared and keep the momentum we found in Shanghai running all the way through this Bahrain weekend.”
Ferrari have a good record at the Sakhir circuit, with the Maranello-based squad recording four victories in the nine occasions that F1 has visited the Gulf State.