Stefano Domenicali: “A very long race” 

Written by David on June 23rd, 2008 at 3:16 pmLast Update: June 23rd, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Stefano DomenicaliScuderia Ferrari Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali, has stated at the end of the French Grand Prix that despite Kimi Raikkonen managed to complete the race and finish second, the exhaust failure on the Finn’s car could result in an unscheduled engine change for the upcoming British Grand Prix. The Finn suffered an exhaust failure half through Sunday’s race at Magny Cours which caused fluctuating performance thereafter. Raikkonen was lucky to finish behind team mate Massa, even though he matched his teammate’s time for a while before the engine worsened at the end.

“I would say it is quite likely that we will have to replace the engine,” said the Italian. “For sure, after such a heavy race from the middle to the end, it’s very likely that we have to change it so we need to play the joker that allows us to do it. We will do the analysis later on and tomorrow but there’s no rush to do anything more than eventually change it when we go to Silverstone.”

“Unfortunately it was not possible to understand the problem – admitted Domenicali – and also the other difficulty is that for almost half of the race all the breaking parts were falling apart so it will also be difficult to collect all the pieces in our hands because they’re somewhere around the track.”

“If you lose the exhaust there’s no more performance and then you start to have different parameters on the engine, the temperatures go up, the water pressure comes down,” he explained. “Everything is mixed up, of course. In a way, it was very very good and very important to finish the race with eight points in that condition. I have to say that in terms of strategy, in terms of teamwork everything was done correctly.”

“The maximum the engine lasts is for two races so maybe I think it’s a bit ambitious to have another race in that condition but honestly, I don’t know, difficult to say. I don’t want to tell lies; I don’t know,” replied Domenicali when asked how much longer the engine would have lasted. “We were trying to do what we could in order to protect the engine under those conditions and after all the things that were possible to do, just wait until the chequered flag. You could see that there were a lot of switches being moved around.”

“For sure we were very worried, no doubt,” continued Domenicali. “It was a long race to finish, maybe we lost a lot of years and a lot of hair but that’s part of the game. So I’m extremely happy it lasted. In that condition you never know. It may stop any lap, it’s too difficult, it’s critical.”

The Italian Team Principal, also paid tribute to Felipe Massa, the new World Championship leader: “I think that we always said that we were very very happy extremely happy with our two drivers. It’s better not to assume any kind of thinking before the end of the season because if you think that after the first two Grands Prix Felipe had zero points; I recall what was the discussion about him. I think that strong drivers in a strong team have to look ahead without being influenced by the negative thinking around. I think he’s strong now, and as I said, I think it’s the first time for him to be leading the Drivers’ championship so it’s a great award for him but it doesn’t change anything on our side. Teamwork is our main target and we said at the beginning that there’s no changes in our decisions or strategies.”

source: Ferrari 

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