Ferrari - Our 'dreadful weekend'

Nothing goes to plan as Ferrari suffer worse start to championship since 1992

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has said that the world champions endured a "dreadful weekend" at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Having dominated winter testing, Ferrari were installed as favourites for the Melbourne race and were even tipped to score a one-two victory.

In the event, they managed to claim just a solitary point - Ferrari's worst start to a season since 1992.

Not only did the world champions struggle to keep pace with rivals McLaren-Mercedes but they also suffered a series of reliability issues.

And, while attempting to restore a sense of calm to the team, Domenicali could not hide his concern at the engine failures which befell both Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa.


"Our main concern is to understand the reliability problems," he conceded. "We had two engine failures so this is the main issue to understand. Engine problems are unusual for a team like ours.

"It was a surprise after so many kilometres we did in the winter. We need to understand why exactly did that happen.

"The result speaks for itself. Unfortunately it was a dreadful weekend. Nothing went as planned, so it was difficult. Very tough, no doubt."

Ferrari suffered in qualifying too, with a fuel pump failure demoting Raikkonen to an eventual 15th place on the grid, while Massa started fourth after struggling to find sufficient pace over a single lap.

Despite rising to eighth place on the opening lap, Raikkonen's early progress was halted by Honda's Rubens Barrichello.

Running a long opening stint, he rose as high as third before dropping to 12th after an attempt to pass Heikki Kovalainen on lap 30 resulted in an off-track excursion.

Raikkonen later left the track again when disputing 10th place with Toyota's Timo Glock. Nevertheless, despite suffering an engine failure five laps from the finish, he still scored a championship point.


Meanwhile, Massa fell to 17th after spinning at the very first corner, the Brazilian's race eventually ending with engine failure on lap 29 - three laps after a coming together with Red Bull's David Coulthard.

"Being involved in all this situation at the back is always difficult. Once again, it shows how important is to start from the first positions," acknowledged Domenicali.

"We are still suffering in the first lap performance in qualifying, and today unfortunately there were some clashes with some drivers which didn't help the situation.

"Qualifying is a key factor because starting behind you lose so much.

"We've seen Kimi staying behind Rubens for so many laps, and then when he had a clear track he was able to manage perfect times in terms of consistency and in terms of performance. It was good.

"That's why it's a shame, because once again we showed that with a few laps of clear track we showed the potential and that the performance is there during the race. No doubt.

"We need to understand now in order to improve qualifying."