Motors Motors

Ferrari will rule again, says Domenicali


MONZA, Italy, September 8 – Team boss Stefano Domenicali has claimed that Ferrari are creating a world-beating team, led by Fernando Alonso, that will enjoy an invincible era at the top of Formula One.

On the eve of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix on home soil, Domenicali made clear that he believes the new Ferrari structure — to which the team are now applying the finishing touches — will smash all opposition, leaving rivals Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes among the also-rans.

Domenicali said: “Ferrari is a team that is condemned to win — in our history, we will never be allowed to smile if we take second place.

“I may sound crazy, but I am convinced we are building the basis now of an unbeatable structure.

“(Fernando) Alonso believes in it and he has signed to 2016. He is in the middle of his career, and a winner like him wouldn’t throw it down the drain if he was not more than convinced about this project.”

He added: “This year is going to be our last disappointing season.”

In a powerful torrent of optimism for the future, the normally softly-spoken and cautious Domenicali swept aside all negative feelings surrounding Ferrari as they attempt to stop Red Bull’s triumphant bandwagon this weekend.

The champion team and their champion driver Sebastian Vettel look poised to retain their titles with unchallenged ease before the end of the 19-race season in Brazil in November.

However, Domenicali warned them that not only will they face a battle royal next year, but that Ferrari will be stronger and better-organised for the next five years or more.

He said: “(Jean) Todt won a lot, but he had time to build a winning team with extraordinary balance. I aim to do the same and I am optimistic about the future.

“We will have an unbeatable structure — with no lone men at the helm, not like Red Bull, with (Adrian) Newey, but for us a team. We believe in this.”

Ferrari, thanks to Spaniard Alonso at the British Grand Prix, have won just once this year and are all but out of contention for the titles. Alonso is more than 100 points behind Vettel with seven races remaining.

But, Domenicali said, the team will not abandon this season and re-focus on 2012.

“That’s a mistake we’ve already made in the past and we must not repeat it,” he told La Repubblica.

“Some of the current developments can be an important basis for next year.

“The crucial point is to learn how to make full use of the tyres in every condition. From here to November, we can experiment with different set-ups and go forward with the work.

“We need to keep an aggressive approach, even though the championship is gone. The areas that can make a difference must be identified, if possible, even before our rivals.

“While Alonso has scored 41 points more than last year in the first 12 races, it’s not his fault if Vettel has killed the championship.

“We have made our mistakes, but he’s been phenomenal.”