Ferrari bosses apparently not on the same page over 2013 and 2014 priorities
17 October, 2013
Ferrari’s two chiefs have apparently got their wires crossed with regard to the priorities heading into the final four races of 2013 Formula 1 World Championship.
After Suzuka, where Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel moved his title campaign into a near check-mate, Stefano Domenicali said, “The 2013 [Ferrari] car will have some new parts, but the technical staff is 100 per cent focused on the  project.”
Meanwhile Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari’s indomitable president, declared this week: “I read about assumed bellyaching or about the team concentrating only on 2014.
“I don’t even want to hear that kind of talk,” he insisted. “There are still four races to go where we will field Ferraris that are fighting for the podium with maximum determination from the drivers and the whole team.”
“The fight with Mercedes and Lotus has intensified,” Domenicali is quoted by France’s L’Equipe. “It is very tight and we must ensure that we improve the car.”
In the lucrative Constructors’ World Championship, Ferrari is a distant second behind Red Bull, but only 10 points ahead of Mercedes. Lotus is also within striking distance.
“Lotus have achieved a good pace in qualifying,” team boss Domenicali is quoted by Russia’s Formula 1news.ru, “very close to ours, or even a little better.
“They control their tyre wear very well, so if they qualify ahead it is very difficult to deal with them.
“Mercedes has an advantage in qualifying speed, so if they are fighting ahead with Lotus, then our task is very difficult,” he also admitted.
Mercedes has already said that it is determined to overhaul Ferrari, and Lotus is also bracing for the battle that is worth many millions in official prize money.
Lotus’ Eric Boullier is quoted by Brazil’s O Estado de S.Paulo as targeting the “very ambitious plan” that is achievable “if we can keep up this pace”.
Ex Formula 1 driver turned television pundit Mika Salo agrees: “It is still quite possible that Lotus can take second place, because they can now rely not only on Kimi (Raikkonen) for big points, but also [Romain] Grosjean.” (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.