Ferrari on cusp of abandoning 2009 car

UPDATE (GMM) Ferrari is on the cusp of simply abandoning the F60 car in favor of focusing exclusively on next year's project, it was reported on Monday.

Italy's ANSA news agency said that even though Felipe Massa secured a rare podium spot with the 2009 car at the Nurburgring, its ongoing development is on the verge of being scrapped entirely.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali is reportedly alarmed that despite efforts to improve the car, its competitors are making "giant steps" in comparison.

"This is especially the case with Red Bull which has made extraordinary progress and can now make a serious title bid," he is quoted as saying.

"But significant progress has also been made by Toyota, Renault, McLaren and Force India, our chief rivals for third place in the constructors' championship," Domenicali added.

Ferrari trails Toyota in the constructors' standings by 2.5 points but Domenicali indicated the more important consideration may be in regards to the 2010 campaign.

"It is no secret to anyone that we are going to have to take a long, hard look at where we are and where we want to go," the Italian admitted.

"The car's performance this weekend varied too greatly and its limits, especially in regard to grip, were all to evident."

06/27/09 The Ferrari team has suggested that, whilst enduring a tough 2009 season, it may cease development of its F60 to concentrate fully on the design and construction of its 2010 car. After eight races of this year's seventeen-race championship, the reigning Champions are placed fourth and seventy-nine points behind leaders Brawn GP.

Like Honda in 2007 and 2008, Ferrari may elect to put further advancements for this season's car aside with approximately three quarters of a year remaining until the start of the 2010 championship.

"I am confident that we can improve our performance in the next races, but having said that it is quite difficult – if not impossible, really – to dramatically change the car during the season without tests," admitted company president Luca di Montezemolo, who also stressed that next season's car will not include KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) and will therefore not be built around this component.

"Unfortunately we started the season with grey rules," he continued. "It is difficult to give a correct interpretation and the proof is that the three teams that have won the last F1 World Championships – like Ferrari, McLaren and Renault – have made the same interpretation of the rules and they are not as competitive as before.

"This is one of the reasons in our battle – to have more stable, clear and transparent rules – we made the car with KERS; it means that more weight is on the car and a lot of other teams have not done KERS. So if the federation (FIA, governing body) wants to introduce KERS, it has to be the same for everybody. Now I think it is time to go back to clear rules."

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