Ferrari: We have our work cut out to catch Mercedes
18 March 2014 – Ferrari Technical Director James Allison has admitted the Scuderia’s level of competitiveness in the Australian Grand Prix, the 2014 Formula 1 season opener, was ‘not acceptable’ and that the squad has its ‘work cut out if it is compete on equal terms’ with Mercedes.
Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth and seventh respectively after Daniel Ricciardo’s exclusion, but with Alonso over 30 seconds off runaway winner, Nico Rosberg, Allison was far from happy.
“While we can take some satisfaction from the reliability shown by the F14T, it is clear that we have our work cut out to improve our car in order to compete on equal terms with the Mercedes team,” he confirmed on Ferraris official website. “There is plenty about the F14T that is working very well: The starts and the pace in the corners – especially the high speed ones – are particular strong points, but we need to work further on the stability under braking and the speed on the straights.”
“All the recent seasons in F1 have been characterised by a fierce development battle from March until November. With all the new regulations this year, the opportunities to improve the car are legion and we can expect the race to improve the cars to be even more intense than normal,” he added. “[Overall, however] our competitiveness was not acceptable in Melbourne.”
“But we intend to fight our way back up the grid with the improvements that we will bring to the car,” he vowed.
Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali meanwhile shares those same concerns: “We achieved our objective in terms of reliability [in Australia], but the gap we need to make up, especially to Mercedes, was clear to see. The information we have gathered this weekend clearly points to the direction we must take and what areas need the most work. It will be important to catch up as quickly as possible and react in the way this team has always proved capable of doing. Our engineers know what the priorities are and which areas need the most immediate attention,” he concluded.