Ferrari boss Stefano Domencali says that the update packages brought by the top teams to Spain made little difference to the pecking order – and adds that we are unlikely to see big gains after the next couple of months.
Fernando Alonso gave the Italian team its second win of the year in Barcelona.
“For me this weekend was important just to understand the jump in terms of performance we could expect from the other teams,” said Domenicali, “because from now up to the end of July you may see one or two big steps of development, and no more. And then I’d say some teams will be forced to try to start work on the new car. I think it’s really a crucial part of the season.”
Regarding the impact of the latest car developments on the status quo in Spain, he said: “It seems that everyone has moved more or less with the same kind of improvement. I don’t see a big change. If you look back last year, there was a totally different situation, in Spain you’ve seen that some teams have done a better jump. Of course all depends on the level of the quality of the project that you do in the winter, the quality and level of performance of the first race package.
“So that’s why I believe now in the next two or three months we’re going to see really where we’re going to be, because I believe that after so many years of stable regulations, the fact that to find much more performance is getting more and more difficult, I don’t say that it will be impossible, but it’s a challenge to everyone.”
Meanwhile Domenicali insisted that Ferrari’s plan had always been to run four stops in Barcelona to give Alonso the opportunity to push hard and make up ground from his fifth grid spot.
“We knew that the key of the strategy, and honestly since the beginning, since last night, was to attack and to jump on the traffic. But not every time you can do it.”
Domenicali also confirmed that Alonso had made his final stop prematurely, due to worries over a deflating tyre.
“It was not a serious problem. We had a sign that the tyre was starting to go down slowly. However the strategy was to stop two laps later, and in order not to risk anything because of course we were controlling the pace of Kimi we decided to do that in order to avoid any extra stress at a certain point.”