Ferrari believes Red Bull’s dominance in the Canadian Grand Prix was flattered by the fact that Fernando Alonso started too far down the grid to threaten him.
Sebastian Vettel was in a class of his own in Montreal, pulling immediately clear from pole position and racing away unchallenged. But Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali thinks the race “would have been a totally different picture” if Alonso had qualified near the front.
“I believe if Fernando had been on the first row like Sebastian then it would have been a different story,” he said. “The main difference was that everyone, I believe, thought that the super soft was the tyre for the race, but because the temperature was higher, then it was the other way around.
“This is something to learn from, as it is so on the edge that a couple of degrees can make a difference.”
Ferrari has long admitted that its biggest weakness is its single-lap pace, and Domenicali conceded again in Canada that it was the area Ferrari needs to focus on. When asked if he agreed it was now a priority to sort out qualifying pace, Domenicali said: “Yes. Unfortunately it is a very easy thing to say but a very difficult thing to do.
“We have seen the performance during the race is very, very good, and here Sebastian did an incredible race, being in first place and dictating his pace with no problem. But when you have such a strong qualifying you can also have this situation. Of course this [improving qualifying] is a need for us because if you start behind you are not able to attack. So to be second in the race was really the maximum that we could have done.”