Stefano Domenicali, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Korea, 2010

Ferrari will be “very careful”, says Domenicali

Brazilian Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said the team will be taking a conservative approach at Brazil this weekend.

Domenicali explained the team is not bringing any significant updates for the F10 and is concentrating on scoring the maximum points:

It is unlikely to decide the outcome, but it will be a very important race. If one were to lose valuable points here it would make Abu Dhabi a bigger call.

The approach the team will adopt in these final weeks of the championship will be the right one, keeping in mind the strengths of our rivals, Red Bull and McLaren. We have seen how complicated the races have been throughout the season, which means we have to be very careful.

As far as the F10 is concerned, there will be a few small updates on the aerodynamic front, but nothing really significant, because the difference will come from reliability, from finishing the races without losing points and having the right mindset.

However, I think the F10 can be competitive in Brazil and that, for better or for worse, the relative strengths are those we have seen in the last few races. We can expect to find that Red Bull is again very strong, while McLaren could have some more updates to be quicker still and we will be in the fight.
Stefano Domenicali

Although Felipe Massa has had to play a supporting role on occasions this year, Domenicali said he will be “doing all he can to win” in his home race:

Brazil is Felipe’s home race and knowing him the way I do, I am sure there will be that little bit extra motivation to do well. He will want to show his fans what he can do so I expect him to be very much up for the fight, doing all he can to win. He will be very quick, which is exactly what we need right now to reach our goals.

Fernando will tackle the race at Interlagos in the same way he tackled the last few rounds, which means with great determination, keeping in mind that the key is to finish the race and, unless something unpredictable happens, that would mean bringing home a big points haul.
Stefano Domenicali

Ferrari has had mixed fortunate at the track in recent years, as Domenicali explains:

I would say my best memory of the Brazilian Grand Prix goes back to the 2007 race. It was the final round and we went into it seventeen points down, so to come out of it with Kimi winning the drivers’ title and taking the constructors’ championship with him and Felipe was truly memorable from a sporting point of view.

The worst memory would have to be 2008 and what I would describe as ‘Felipe’s final corner.’ As he crossed the line he was world champion and then, unfortunately, after a few seconds the title was just handed to Lewis Hamilton. That was a difficult moment, although the bitterness was eased slightly by the fact we won the constructors’ title that year. For Felipe and the team, that was a really difficult moment.

What was an extraordinary moment in our sport was to see how Felipe reacted a few moments after the end of the race, when he stood on the podium, displaying admirable self control, as did the team, displaying his and the team’s great sense of sportsmanship.
Stefano Domenicali

Championship leader Fernando Alonso warned the team will have to be wary of the unpredictable local weather:

We will tackle this round with the same spirit in which we went into the last few races, which means concentrating on our own work, determined to make the most of every opportunity, aware that the totting up will be done in Abu Dhabi after the final race.

The track is very interesting and usually produces a spectacular race. The weather, which can be very changeable, could play an important role and we will have to be ready for any eventuality. With such a short and quick track, the gaps will be reduced and there will be a lot of drivers all within a few tenths.

Massa will be racing at home for the first time since 2008, having missed last year’s race due to injury:

This was the race I missed most last year, when I had to sit out the final part of the season after the accident in Budapest. After sitting it out in 2009, it would be great to get back to winning ways, especially as it would be vital in terms of the fight for both championships.
Felipe Massa

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Keith Collantine
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39 comments on “Ferrari will be “very careful”, says Domenicali”

  1. Hm, not sure what to make of this. Sure they will want to have Alonso on the podium, but will that be enough?
    And will going into the weekend beeing carefull do the job of getting there?

    1. A podium would be pretty good for Alonso IF he’s in top of WEB. Otherwise it’s not enough.

      The most absurd possible result would be VEL-WEB-ALO in both races (a lot more likely in qualis than in race results this year). With that, RBR would prove a point about TO, but they would lose the WDC miserably.

      1. I will cry if that happens, and probably never watch F1 again

  2. Felipe has a good track record here with Ferrari, I still believe he will have to yield for Alonso when it comes to the crunch. Don’t forget 2007!

    1. but only if alonso is right behind him , if webber is , then ferrari will want him to stay ahead , obviously , so i would not rule out massa winning brazillian gp. this year . more than likely though , alonso will be ahead as has been this season. i’m hoping mercedes and renault can be on the pace , to threaten some of the “big five” , will also make some extra excitement.

  3. Luca: we shall fight them on the beaches, we shall never surrender!
    Stefano: but we’ll be careful not to get ourselves killed…

    Personally I hope Alonso lead a 1-2 with Hamilton, Webber and Vettel behind, then his engine blows and Massa wins and takes the championship to a tight finish.

    1. Lol.

      I wonder how much trouble Alonso will have with his engines too. Heidfeld was already complaining about the power loss of the Ferrari engine with some mileage on it.

      1. I hate to say it, but I think Fernando is going to have engine problems in one of the last two races. If Fernando finishes in front of Webber at Interlagos, I think they should give him a fresh engine and accept the penalty at Abu Dhabi.

        1. I don’t really see the big deal with Alonso’s engines. His final engine has only done Monza so far, so it can last another 2 races (engines are designed to last 3 races). Also, the altitude at Interlagos puts less strain on the engine. There’s no need for a fresh engine at Abu Dhabi.

          1. But that is Monza isn’t it? I can’t see Monza being easy on the engine, Intergalos isn’t exactly a walk in the park for the engine either… I’d have to agree with Todfod…

            But if Alonso doesn’t finish well here, that changes the situation completely.

      2. Sandbagging

        Sandbragging?

        My personal favourite for this race, McLaren 1-2 with Alo in third, THEN BOOM, his engine fails he spins and takes out Webber.

    2. Massa wins and takes the championship

      A bit too late for that, I’m afraid. But I wish it could be possible.

      (Yes, I took it out of context, I know, LOL)

      I hope […] his engine blows

      Keith should give you a 50.000 $ fine for “bringing this blog into disrepute” LOL. There are any number of fanboy sites where that kind of comment would fit but I don’t like to see them here.

      1. Is it fanboyism to want a close championship fight? If I was being a fanboy I’d want everyone but Hamilton to fail and I certainly wouldn’t want him to be second.

        1. Don’t forget about Button! Button-Hamilton-Kobayashi with Alonso, Webber, and Vettel not finishing. Brings is back into crazy excitement and Kamui finishing third probably means the race was exciting.

          1. Even if Button wins and no-one else finishes, it still wouldn’t make it that exciting for Abu Dhabi though, as he’d still be 17 behind Alonso.

            A perfect result for a close championship would be Vettel 1st, Hamilton 2nd, Webber 5th and Alonso DNF.

            That would give Alonso 231, Vettel 231, Webber 230 and Hamilton 228 – so whoever won the last race would win the title.

          2. Button-Vettel-Hamilton with Webber anywhere is more interesting than my other example. Your example does make the overall results more interesting but mind keeps an extra driver involved.

            If Button wins Abu Dhabi, Hamilton needs better than 4th, Webber better than 7th, and Alonso better than 7th. With the mid majors battling for points too, it actually could be interesting provided Webber or Alonso don’t qualify well.

          3. Ed, I agree, that would be best.

    3. Icthyes: that would be an awesome race!

      1. I think you are all forgetting that Mercedes GP are racing in the same race..Strong straightline speed,two World Class drivers with exceptional ability in the dry and wet.
        How about a 5th win in this race Michael?

  4. ‘Felipe’s final corner’ sounds as if that was the final time Ferrari decided to give Massa a valid attempt at the WDC.

    1. Might have been his only chance

  5. This is the place where Massa can Deliver a good finish but only if he gets the 1º place or take points off especialy Webber.
    But i really believe Alonso isn´t expecting that so he´ll take care of business as usual.

    But the best prediction comes after the race, better wait and see.

    1. I’d like to see Massa win at his home race and Alonso take second. More than likely you would then have a Red Bull finish third. I’m unsure if it would be Webber or Vettel though.

      1. I’d like to see Massa win at his home race and Alonso take second.

        I think the only way that’s going to happen is if Webber is no higher than eighth (i.e. Alonso is on course to win the title).

        1. Good point. Not a likely scenario when you look at it that way, is it? Webber’s bound to do well assuming Vettel remains reasonably level-headed and Hamilton does’nt make another of his schoolboy errors though.

  6. I don’t know if being careful is the right thing for Ferrari to do – look what almost happened to Hamilton in 2008.

    Its been said a few times since Hockenheim, but again, the interesting situation will be if Massa is two spots ahead of Alonso (particularly if he’s in the lead) with a Renault/Mercedes in between.

  7. Rain in Brazil in 2003 & 2008 have gave us some good racing. If it does rain this time it will be great as we saw last week the WC can be won or loss under difficult & different condition.

    1. And it contributed to a screwed up grid with Vettel and Button near the back in 2009, too.

  8. Ferrari must find the difference between taking less risk and losing focus. You see in many sports, from tennis to american football to golf, how a team or player seeking to preserve a substantial lead by being “careful” loses its edge and galvanizes the opposition with lazy mistakes and conservative, constraining approaches. I imagine that Ferrari will try to use the engine and gearbox gingerly, they will minimize Friday running for Alonso, so on. The front of the field is so close now that giving up .3s to extra care could be the difference betweens starting p2 and p5.

    But Webber will have to turn in an inspired drive such as he hasn’t done since Hungary. Does he have it in him? Hamilton will be in his late 09 mode where he had nothing to lose and something to prove—11/10ths. Vettel is not going to being careful.

    1. I love seeing Hamilton when he is at 11/10ths.

  9. The real thing here is not how ferrari is going to behave in Brasil but Red Bull, they´re the ones who have to challenge ferrari, and also let us not forget Mclaren by the hands of Hamilton and the weather, looks like it´s going to be factor too.

  10. Sooo….what happens to the value of the driver’s championship if Alonso wins by 7 points of less?

    1. Happens that he wins, his 3rd one, and next year will be a new championship from day one…

      Nothing will be discussed outside of british or german media, depending on the nationality of the 2nd driver. I doubt that Aussies will make a big thing out of it if it is Webber the runner up. I might be wrong, though…

      1. I think his chamionship would be devalued significantly in my eyes, and Im not british, german, or a member of the media :)

        1. You don’t have to be neither (inc. journalist) you just have to buy the newspapers or read the web. They write to sell what caters to their audience, don’t forget that :-)

          And we (both) read british media (this blog at least)

    2. For me the value is the same with more or less than 7 points

  11. An Alonso win with Webber 5th, and it’s all over!

  12. What happens if Alonso wins by 7 points or less?
    The same that happened when Hamilton was gifted his DWC, nothing more, nothing less.
    Some people will be happy some sour grapes, well, they never change do they.
    Whoever wins the championships (drivers and constructors) will be a deserving winner. The championship is 19 races long giving a total of 19*25 (475) maximum points, 7 points being roughly 1.4% of the available total.
    Alonso has an 11 point advantage, meaning he’d still be in front by a margin of 4 points if you take away Massa’s contribution. No doubt it is better to have a bigger advantage but, regardless of that fact, Alonso would still be in front going to the last 2 races. Since they have not yet happened as of (04/11/2010) we can only rely on hypothetical results to allow our driver/tem of choice to become champion.

    1. The same that happened when Hamilton was gifted his DWC, nothing more, nothing less.

      Hamilton was not gifted his championship in any sense (please don’t trot out the Timo Glock nonsense, it’s embarrassing).

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