No points for Ferrari in season opener

K. Raikkonen: 16th 1:28.59.301 3 laps 55 laps 276 chassis

F. Massa: R 1:12.45.106 - 45 laps 275 chassisWeather: air temperature 22/21 °C, track temperature 31/26 °C, sunny.

No points for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro at the end of the Australian Grand Prix, the opening round of the 2009 season. Kimi Raikkonen was classified sixteenth, after retiring on lap 55 with a differential problem, while Felipe Massa stopped in the pits on lap 45, with a broken left front nose support.

Stefano Domenicali: “This was definitely not a start worthy of Ferrari, from any point of view. We were lacking on the reliability front, with two cars forced to retire. Our performance was not up to the potential we had expected after our winter testing: we struggled to manage the tyres. Furthermore, our strategy choices did not work out, especially in the case of Felipe. To sum up, it was a day to forget from the result point of view, but to remember well so as to try and analyse everything we failed in, in order to improve immediately. From that point of view, it’s good we have a race coming up immediately next week in Malaysia. It will give us the opportunity to react as long as we draw the right conclusions, calmly but also decisively. Australia does not seem to have been a happy hunting ground for us these last few years: the circuit is a bit untypical where it could be that the pecking order is not so clear. It will be more evident in Sepang, but we are well aware that, apart from one team that was untouchable today, there are numerous other strong competitors.”

Felipe Massa: “We knew the Brawn GP cars would be unbeatable today, but all the same, we thought we could have a good race. The start was great, but after five or six laps, we ran into trouble with the soft tyres, to such an extent that we had to pit early. We then switched to a very aggressive strategy, which with hindsight turned out to be the wrong one, as shortly after the pit stop, the safety car came out on track. I found myself third, but after the restart, I had less than ten laps to try and make up ground on those who were behind me, but with more fuel. At the second stop, we filled it for the finish, but then I was very slow and finally, I had the problem which forced me to retire. In my opinion, apart from the Brawns, we are competitive, but we have to work perfectly to get to the front. Here, it is very difficult to get the tyres to work, partly because the track surface does not provide much grip. The solution for Malaysia? Work and work hard.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “When I ended up in the wall it was my mistake. A shame as, given what happened later, I could have finished second. We lost valuable points but we will try and make up for it starting right away in Malaysia. There, we will get a clearer picture of the situation because this circuit is not very indicative of performance. The KERS worked well at the start, but there was not much room to go anywhere. If we did not think it gave an advantage, we would not use it. Definitely the main problem was in managing the tyres, but we also need to improve our overall performance.”

Luca Baldisserri: “We opted to start on the softer tyres, a gamble that did not pay off today, because, given the huge degradation suffered by both drivers, we had to bring the first stops forward. We then went on two different strategies: with Felipe, in hindsight, we went the wrong way, especially as the safety car period did not help. Apart from this, we must admit that today, our performance was not up to that of many of our rivals. We must work out why and react quickly, starting in Malaysia.”

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