Japanese GP: Ferrari Friday report

One could say without fear of contradiction that this was a typical Friday for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro during which it went through the by now standard work programme: trying out new elements brought to the track for the first time at this race,...

One could say without fear of contradiction that this was a typical Friday for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro during which it went through the by now standard work programme: trying out new elements brought to the track for the first time at this race, working out the best set-up and evaluating the behaviour of the two types of tyre which Bridgestone has brought here. Usually, the unknown factors are those concerning reliability and the weather but today, there were no problems in these areas.

"These first two sessions certainly did not throw up any surprises," commented Stefano Domenicali. "We were expecting Red Bull to be very strong and that has proved to be the case, while it is harder to evaluate the McLarens, epecially given what happened this morning with Hamilton. We worked through our programme and now we have to analyse the data and prepare ourselves as well as possible for qualifying and the race. Tomorrow there is a very high chance of rain, therefore anything could happen. We will have to pay great attention to managing all the various situations that could arise. We must remain focussed on our own tasks, without worrying about what the others are doing."

Fernando Alonso:

"It is only Friday, so the times today do not really mean much. What we must always keep in mind is that the pecking order between the cars can change significantly in terms of which track we are at: you only have to look at McLaren who were very strong in Spa and Monza, but definitely less so in Budapest and Singapore. So I would say it is best to wait until the end of tomorrow before giving a definite judgement on the situation here in Suzuka. In theory, Red Bull look unbeatable here, as they always have done, except in Monza and also there were various races where come Sunday, they were beaten, so again that's a reason to wait before drawing any conclusions. Today, we did not put together a perfect lap, so there is some room for improvement. We have to analyse the data to see how to do that, but of course the others will be doing the same. The forecast is for rain tomorrow: if that happens, we must concentrate and avoid making any mistakes, which can cost you a lot in the wet. Then it will be down to luck, as to who finds themselves in the right place at the right time on the right tyre. The aim in qualifying is to be in the top five, then we can see how things go in the race. I wish to welcome Sergio Perez to the Ferrari Driver Academy. I am sure that, like me, he will feel at home in the Ferrari family alongside the other guys in the FDA. I know them all and I can say that the communal Latin culture will help him as it helped me in this my first year in Maranello."

Felipe Massa:

"I thought Red Bull would be very strong and maybe they are even more so than I had expected. Having said that, it's likely we will have a wet qualifying tomorrow, so anything could happen: we must try and be ready to make the most of whatever situation presents itself. The aim is still the same, whether the track is dry or if it rains, which means to qualify as well as possible. The track is pretty hard on tyres because of the many high speed corners, therefore managing them properly will be important during the race. We will use the blown rear wing, as on this track it definitely brings an advantage in performance terms. There is still room to improve the handling of our car, but we can't really expect any sort of change in terms of performance."

Chris Dyer:

"It was a reasonably positive day, during which we completed our programme, without encountering any particular problems. We tested a few new aerodynamic components and the first signs seem favourable. There is still work to do to get the car performance right, especially on new tyres. Furthermore, we must bear in mind that setting a time right from the very first lap might be less important given that tomorrow it is supposed to rain for qualifying: if that happens we can definitely expect an exciting day! With a heavy fuel load, the car's handling seems quite competitive, which is definitely a positive factor in terms of Sunday's race."

-source: ferrari

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Felipe Massa , Sergio Perez
Teams Ferrari , McLaren