Fight will go the last race, says Domenicali

Stefano Domenicali’s target for Australia was to begin the 2013 season with a podium finish, and the Ferrari boss is happy with the way the first race unfolded.

The Italian team has endured a poor start to its campaign over the past two years, and Domenicali believes that – as in 2012 – the battle will go to the end of the season.

“For sure the global picture of what I’ve seen during these two days, three days, very intense, was more or less what I was expecting if you look back at the testing, and what I’ve said officially,” said Domenicali.

“We had a group of cars that is quite competitive, we had a qualifying that – even if it’s difficult to understand from the pure performance point of view because of the conditions – we saw Red Bull very strong, Mercedes very strong as expected.

“And we saw a different picture during the race. As was clear during the test we saw a very consistent Lotus, with a good race pace. On that respect there was not really a big surprise. Don’t be surprised if you see McLaren recovering the situation very soon, because they are a great team, so they will do it very soon.

“The championship is for sure very long, from our side it is for sure encouraging to have a good start, no doubt. I said at the beginning our target was the podium, and we did that.

“It doesn’t count a lot, I would say nothing, but we are leading the constructors’ championship, and this is a good sign for the people at home who are working quite hard, at least to see that our drivers have performed quite well.”

Domenicali said that Ferrari still has to keep its eye on the ball.

“We need to be prudent because it’s only the first race. There are so many things that will change in the next couple of races in terms of understanding race preparation, in terms of tyre management. For sure the strategy is always important. I put in front of everything reliability, because if you don’t finish, you don’t score points.

“I’m pleased to see our group of mechanics were doing a great job also today, and this is something very important, because we need to be solid in the points where we are strong, and improve where we need to improve. For sure the championship this year will be very intense this year up to the last race, no doubt.”

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