Tombazis: Ferrari's start six out of ten
7 May 2013 – Ferrari chief designer Nikolas Tombazis has given the team a below-par rating of six out of ten for the start of the 2013 Formula 1 campaign, but remains confident that the Maranello-based marque is in a strong position to fight for this year's world titles.
Following on from the outfit's first victory of the season at Shanghai, a disastrous Bahrain Grand Prix weekend has seen it slip 32 points behind current leaders Red Bull, with a DRS malfunction and tyre failures ruining its chances in the Gulf State.
However, while Tombazis admits that a more fruitful opening flyaway phase had been anticipated, he has every reason to believe further success is on the horizon.
"I think in general, the first results mean we can be reasonably optimistic about the rest of the season, with a sense that we can fight for wins and the championship," explained Tombazis. "However, if I was to score our overall performance, I would only give it a six out of ten and that’s for two main reasons: one is that we are not yet quite where we want to be.
"In the first four Grands Prix, we were not really able to fight for pole position and that is one of our main objectives at the moment. Secondly, if you look at the actual results, even if it’s true we’ve had a win, which naturally we can be very pleased about, we have also had two very bad results where we scored very few points. However, I reiterate, that overall, we can be optimistic for the future."
For the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix, Tombazis outlined bodywork, floor and wing upgrades that Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa are due to trial on Friday.
"I believe most of our competitors will have a significant number of updates in Spain, which is not surprising, as there was a reasonably long gap after the first four races," Tombazis commented. "Of course, we too have updates and naturally, I don’t want to go into too much detail, but they extend to the bodywork, floor and wings.
"With any new component, the difficulty lies not so much in its development but in deciding whether or not it is working on-track as well as we had hoped. By Friday evening, our objective is to have a clear view on what we will take forward to the race, in the hope of seeing measurements taken from the wind tunnel confirmed on-track."