Ferrari President Luca Di Montezemolo has spoken about the new Ferrari F1 contender ahead of the official launch on 6th Febrary. Ferrari are preparing to defend their 2001 Constructors' and Driver's championship titles and Di Montezemolo says it...
Ferrari President Luca Di Montezemolo has spoken about the new Ferrari F1 contender ahead of the official launch on 6th Febrary. Ferrari are preparing to defend their 2001 Constructors' and Driver's championship titles and Di Montezemolo says it was difficult to improve on perfection.
"We have tried to innovate but it was not easy to improve a car that was already perfect." He commented. "The biggest change is in the gearbox. We just have to see how it performs now on the track."
There were earlier reports that suggested Ferrari would start the season in Melbourne on March 3rd with last year's car, but the intention is to use the new chassis.
"We know how important reliability is and that's why we are waiting for the results of the first tests, hoping that the climate will be favourable." Said Di Montezemolo.
He also dismisses any worries after both Ferraris crashed in practice last week: "(Michael) Schumacher and (Rubens) Barrichello said it was their fault and it would be mad to doubt their word."
With BMW Williams joining McLaren as fierce competitors for this year's title, the Ferrari chief expects strong challenges and thinks that retaining the Championship is the only acceptable result, remarking: "We have everything to lose and nothing to gain: if we win they will say it was inevitable but if we don't...."
Although Brazilian Rubens Barrichello remains at Ferrari this season as partner to Michael Schumacher, he has made public remarks about the team's support of Schumacher as No.1 -- Di Montezemolo hinted that Barrichello could perhaps improve his working relationship with both.
"If he takes a step forward in his relationship with the stable and with Schumacher then I don't see why we would change. There are not many drivers on the market capable of driving a Ferrari." He said. He also commented that the way things currently work in F1 was partly responsible for the failure of Prost; with the new system proposed by manufacturers of setting up their own Championship he thinks the situation would not have arisen.
"The slice of the cake reserved to constructors is too small. With the system we have in mind the Prost affair would probably have never happened. Little teams must be protected, they are a useful school for younger drivers and also add an element of surprise."