Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018

F1: Ferrari exude calm after 'rare' hitch in Bahrain


(By Paul Virgo)
Rome, April 24 - Ferrari are exuding calm after
what they said was a very rare technical problem ruined Fernando
Alonso's chances of victory at last weekend's Bahrain Grand
The Spaniard had to take an unscheduled pitstop after the
DRS (drag reduction system) on his car's rear wing jammed when
he was in second place.
The two-time world champion then had to compete for much of
the race without the driver-operated flap on the wing, which
can be opened to boost speed for overtaking in certain areas of
the track, and ended up coming eighth.
It was a big blow to Alonso, who had been looking to
overtake Red Bull's treble world champion Sebastian Vettel after
winning the previous race in China.
Instead he now finds himself 30 points behind the German
leader of the drivers' standings, in fourth place.
But the Italian glamour team put out a statement on their
website entitled "All calm despite the problems of Bahrain" in
which they explained that the DRS failure was caused by a
mechanical component that had been used for three years without
giving any trouble.
"The failure is not something that causes concern for the
long term, although attention to reliability must always remain
at the highest level," Ferrari said.
The Bahrain race was especially unlucky for Ferrari as
Alonso's teammate Felipe Massa had a collision at the start and
then suffered two punctures before finishing 15th.
As a result Ferarri dropped from second to third in the
constructors' standings, 32 behind leaders Red Bull.
"It's hard to recall a race where so many things went
wrong," Team Principal Stefano Domenicali said after returning
Ferrari's Maranello base from Bahrain.
"The DRS failure prevented Fernando, who yet again produced
a great performance, from fighting Vettel for the win.
"Then for Felipe, there were the two tyre-related problems
that pushed him out of the points and prevented from getting the
top five finish that was within his grasp.
"We had the potential to get these results, but we were
unable to do so, partly because of external influences".
The team remain upbeat though given that the new race car,
the F138, looks fast enough to contend with the other top teams
and is also performing well in qualifying - a problem area for
Ferrari in recent years.
"We must also continue to develop the car and increase our
understanding of the tyres, which is more crucial than ever this
year," said Domenicali, who also saw Alonso crash out early in
the second race of the season in Malaysia.
"In these first four races of the season, we have not
managed, for various reasons, to bring home the points that were
within our grasp.
"That's why the gap to the top in both classifications
seems quite large, but we must not be discouraged by this, quite
the contrary, because we have seen so often, both in our favour
and against, how things can change in a hurry.
"We believe in our ability to be in the fight for the
titles right to the end and this time, we have been in that
fight since the start, which has not been the case for a while,"
he added, referring to early-season problems in 2011 and 2012.
"At the same time, we must be aware that in order to achieve
our objectives, we have to be perfect in every area".

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