Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has ordered a detailed investigation by his technical chiefs in to why his team’s race pace disappeared at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The team has usually been stronger in the races than in qualifying, and believed the key to delivering the championship was simply to secure better grid spots. In Hungary however the team struggled for the first time this year with its long-run form, leaving Fernando Alonso a frustrated fifth at the checkered flag.
One theory in the change in competitive form is that the switch to 2012 construction Pirelli tires hurt the F138 more than other cars.
Domenicali thinks it is vital the team finds an explanation for what happened before the next race in Belgium, and whether or not the new tires are to blame.
“We have seen that we have lost the gap that we had at the first few races,” explained Domenicali. “During the races, the pace was clearly very strong; now in the conditions here [in Hungary] we have seen that we are not where we wanted to be on both tires soft and medium. We need to understand if this is the case [that the new tires hurt Ferrari] and how to react, because this will be the structure of tires we have until the end of the season. Then a lot will depend on the choice of compounds for the races at the end of the season. It is something we need to analyze carefully, as it seems Mercedes has solved the issue that it was suffering massively in the races.”
As well as the need to address on its tire situation, Ferrari must also get its normal development work back on track, after updates introduced at the British and German Grands Prix did not bring the step forward they were meant to. That meant the team had to revert to older specification parts in Hungary, meaning the car was essentially the same as it had been at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Domenicali acknowledged that there was a need to bring more from the wind tunnel, but he still felt there were reasons to be positive.
“After the very good race from the performance point in Germany and Silverstone, we have improved the car for qualifying, but we haven’t for the race,” he said. “We have done a program to be ready for Spa, and hopefully we are able to manage it.
“There is no reason to be feeling negative pressure. I am expecting a reaction from my technical group and this is what matters.”