Date:Thursday March 15 2012
Over the next few days the spotlight will move on to the drivers on the Formula One grid, so today we are going to concentrate on the team principals.
Following on from Lotus team principal Eric Boullier's comments about the new tyres, our next focus as we head down the paddock, is Ferrari and team principal Stefano Domenicali.
Over the course of winter testing, the new 2012 Ferrari has had its knockers.
Ferrari virtually gave up development and all hope on their 2011 car mid-way through last seasons championship.
It was very uncharacteristic of a team that always has so much pressure on them to perform and more importantly win.
In reality, that was never going to happen on a frequent basis with last years car, so moving their efforts on to this seasons challenger was the right thing to do.
What followed was various press reports and comments, talking up their design for their new car, it was aggressive, it was pushing the boundaries, it was the car that would take the team back to the top.
Then they took it testing and it wasn't that car at all.
It was ugly, but more importantly it wasn't as quick as Red Bull or McLaren, or even Lotus.
The drivers ran passed the press in Barcelona to avoid difficult questions, while the team played down their chances of challenging for podium finishes during the opening stages of the 2012 F1 championship.
But now the season is nearly upon us, are Ferrari really in turmoil before the lights have even gone out for the first time?
'We arrive in Australia knowing we have not reached our goals in terms of performance for a variety of reasons, which we have discussed at length over the past few days. However, I wish to repeat what I said before, we still need to wait a few days before knowing where we stand in relation to the others. Domenicali told Ferrari's website as quoted by Autosport Magazine.
'I'm convinced that we will be in the fight and we will be there right to the end. I said the same thing at the end of last season: if we happen to do well in the first race, we will not be making a show of ourselves, just as we must not feel downhearted if we are not competitive at the highest level.
'All we must do is stay focussed on the job of developing the car. The championship does not end until the end of November, which is something we should never forget.'
So to clarify, are Ferrari in turmoil? We simply do not know and crucially neither do they.
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Date:Thursday March 15 2012
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