Domenicali: We have to give Massa a good car

By on Friday, March 23, 2012

Felipe Massa © Ferrari S.p.A.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has said the team must give Felipe Massa the right car if the Brazilian driver is to gain the confidence he needs to perform at his best.

Speaking in Friday’s official FIA press conference Domenicali said that following Massa’s difficult start to the season in Australia last weekend, the team had worked through a number of set-up options with Massa in free practice ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix and that he believes Ferrari will be able to give him a competitive car in qualifying.

“We had a programme today with some changes on the car to verify some different configurations and tomorrow we will have let’s say the best package, because in this moment I would say for him (Massa) it’s important to feel the confidence around him,” said Domenicali. “Not only him, because the team has a lot of pressure, so that’s the status of the art we have done today,”

Massa ended Friday afternoon’s session in 16th position, the same place he slumped to in qualifying in Australia, while team-mate Fernando Alonso set FP2’s sixth quickest time. Domenicali, however, said that the discrepancy between the two drivers’ times was simply due to running different Friday programmes.

“In terms of what we have seen today we were trying to work with different programmes on two different drivers and tomorrow we will see the situation,” he said. “Today there is nothing I can say that is going to one direction or the other. The work of today was done in order to make sure that tomorrow Felipe has the best car in the best condition. This is the thing we have to give to him.”

After a troubled weekend for the team in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Domenicali and Ferrari Technical Director Pat Fry headed back to Maranello in a bid to drive development of the team’s F2012 car. An in the Friday’s press conference Domenicali added that the pair had focused their attention of the team’s aero department. “What we did was to make sure that the focus on the programme has to be there at home with the engineers, mainly in the aerodynamic department,” he said. “I’ve asked Pat to be spot on, on the case, in order to make sure that now that there is a lot of meat on the fire, we need to make sure this meat will be delivered as quickly as possible, as there is no time to lose.”

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