Stefano Domenicali was clearly delighted yesterday having seen Ferrari and Fernando Alonso get back in the title hunt, but cautioned that it’s easy for something to go wrong for any of the five contenders.
The win was the first for Ferrari at home since the day Michael Schumacher announced his retirement in 2006. Michael is also the only man in the last 20 races there to have won Monza and gone on to win the title, a feat he managed in both 2000 and 2003.
“Of course we are very happy to have done this performance here in front of our people,” said Domenicali. “It’s amazing when you are on the podium, to feel that live, with the people under you like a sea of red supporters singing the national anthem. We were just saying together with Jenson that it’s really unique and fantastic.
“So we’re very happy, no doubt. But on the other hand, as I said in Belgium, the only objective that we had to reach today was to try to close up the gap to the leaders. And we did it. So target accomplished today.
“Here you feel the extra pressure to be at home in front of your supporters. It was really a great response from everyone, to see how they were cool, and to do a crucial thing regarding the strategy of the race.”
Domenicali says the title is still very much up for grabs.
“For sure the championship will be open until the end, when mathematically you cannot do it, because as we have seen the races this year are very peculiar. If someone that is in front loses the opportunity or makes mistakes or goes out or crashes or whatever it is, then the others will jump very close. It’s really important to be consistent and stable up until the end, and then we’ll see in Abu Dhabi.
“We never give up. That’s for sure our approach, and this is something that I can guarantee.”
Amazingly enough Ferrari has yet to score a point after two outings in Singapore, although Felipe Massa led in 2008 until the infamous Piquet generated safety car period ruined his evening.
Asked by this blog about the team’s prospects in the next race, Domenicali said: “Personally Singapore is a race where you cannot be really relaxed up until the chequered flag, because it can happen everything at the last moment. So that is one fact. The other thing is Singapore in terms of performance – I cannot say where we will be.
“As I said I feel that Red Bull will come back again, at the normal pace – apart from this race I would say – they [had] since the beginning of the season. McLaren will be strong, because they’ve been very strong there always. I really hope that what we’re going to bring there will really help us keep the pace of our competitors.”