New qualifying may help Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Technical Director, Ross Brawn met the press on Friday afternoon and began by looking back to the team's Monaco performance. "Looking at the overall situation, it is clear we had a very quick car in Monaco, as proved by...

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Technical Director, Ross Brawn met the press on Friday afternoon and began by looking back to the team's Monaco performance. "Looking at the overall situation, it is clear we had a very quick car in Monaco, as proved by Michael setting the fastest race lap, with about 50 kilos of fuel on board," began the Englishman.

"That is a pretty impressive performance, but so far, we have not been quick enough at all the right times and of course, in Monaco, you have to be quick in qualifying and then defend your position in the race. We almost did the opposite last weekend!"

With all the talk about tyre performance over a single lap in qualifying, Brawn was asked to go into the detail of the problem the Scuderia has experienced so far this season: "One of the challenges we are facing is getting the tyre to work for one quick qualifying lap," he confirmed.

"Since the rules have changed, we have developed tyres that have to last the whole race and in achieving that, we have lost some of our first lap performance. We are now trying to develop tyres that give us back that first lap performance."

"Michael was able to go very quickly after his refuelling stop (in Monaco,) because the weight of the fuel helps put heat into the tyre and these conditions our tyres are extremely good. But in qualifying, we are not getting the whole car-tyre package to work properly."

As from this race, grid positions are decided by drivers doing a single timed lap in just one session. "One of the benefits of this change to qualifying is that it might help us," reckoned Brawn.

"If necessary, we can compromise the race strategy, moving away from the theoretical 'perfect race' to put more emphasis on qualifying and then hope we have enough race performance to compensate for the compromised strategy. But although the new qualifying format might help, at the same time, we and Bridgestone are trying to find technical solutions to help."

As for Sunday, Brawn allowed himself to be optimistic. "Today the car was quite good and this was a good race for us last year and first impressions show that we seem to have found a bit more performance on that first lap. We will only really know where we stand tomorrow, when the track has more rubber on it."

Inevitably, Brawn was also asked to add his opinion to all the discussion regarding the final lap in Monaco, when Michael overtook Rubens. "They have been team-mates for so long that one small incident will not harm the relationship," he stated. "In my opinion, the whole thing is just a storm in a teacup."

-ferrari-

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Ross Brawn
Teams Ferrari