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Australian GP: Ferrari will be battling until the end, Domenicali targets podium


By Berthold Bouman

Australian GP Ferrari will be battling until the end, Domenicali targets podium - Photo: FerrariAlso the most famous team in Formula One, Scuderia Ferrari, are on their way to Australia for round one of the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship, which will take place at the semi-permanent Albert Park circuit, near Melbourne. After testing Ferrari reckons they are in a better shape than at the start of the 2012 season.

Team Principal Stefano Domenicali: Australia an important test bench

For Ferrari’s Team Principal Stefano Domenicali, the Australian Grand Prix will be an important test bench, “To think of drawing conclusions after the first qualifying session in Australia would be premature because it represents only the beginning of a long voyage that ends in November. For many reasons, however, it can be considered an important test bench to establish the state of play.”

Ferrari also spent the winter reorganising their design and race teams, and Domenicali is confident the Scuderia is ready for 2013, “The new business structure, the working methods, the modifications to the equipment that we have used to work on this car, the consistency of the results compared with our targets and what we saw in the recent tests — these all seem to tell us that we are on the right path at last compared to the past.”

And he added, “A podium in Australia would be a good base on which to build the kind of successes we need.”

Felipe Massa is also ready for Melbourne - Photo: Ferrari

Felipe Massa is also ready for Melbourne – Photo: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: Understanding Pirelli tyres will be essential

Star driver Fernando Alonso also thinks the Scuderia is on the right path, “I think we are more or less ready for Melbourne,” said the Spaniard. “I feel confident in the car, while knowing Australia will not be easy. As usual, our aero development will be the key to having a good season, while getting a good understanding of the new, more complicated Pirelli tyres, will also be essential.”

Asked about what he expects this season he commented, “I don’t think we will see one team dominate, but also I don’t expect seven winners in the first races, like last year. And he added, “It will be very close and from our point of view, a good result this weekend would remove some of the stress. I enjoy the Albert Park circuit, it is technical and difficult and the track, being a street circuit, evolves throughout the weekend.”

Felipe Massa: We start the season with a better car

Felipe Massa was given another chance by Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, and the Brazilian is ready to roar again. “I plan to start the 2013 season the way I went during the second half of 2012 and then build on that,” he said.

“I expect the drivers from two or three teams to do most of the winning,” Massa predicted. “As for ourselves, we start the season with a better car than we did last year, so I am happy and positive with the way testing went, when I felt the car evolved from the first day to the last, when I was happy with the balance of the F138 and felt comfortable at the wheel.”

Quizzed about his expectations for the first race of the season he said, “I can’t say Albert Park is my favourite track, but I love coming to Australia, which is a great country with very nice people who really like their racing. The track here is demanding, but I expect the F138 will be well adapted to it and that we can have a good first weekend.”

Also read:

Red Bull Australian GP Preview
Ferrari Australian GP Preview
McLaren Australian GP Preview
Lotus Australian GP Preview
Mercedes Australian GP Preview
Sauber Australian GP Preview
Force India Australian GP Preview
Williams Australian GP Preview
• Toro Rosso Australian GP Preview
Caterham Australian GP Preview
Marussia Australian GP Preview

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