Stefano Domenicali has moved to rally Ferrari's troops ahead of the Belgian GP
Scuderia must give drivers "the quickest car possible"
By Mike Wise. Last Updated: 21/08/13 4:24pm
Stefano Domenicali: Motivational speech
Stefano Domenicali has moved to rally Ferrari's troops ahead of the Belgian GP by calling upon them to give Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa "the quickest car possible".
Speaking at Maranello on Tuesday, the Team Principal insisted the Scuderia could still take the title, despite a disappointing string of results heading into the summer break.
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"There is still everything to play for and we have gone through this before, as recently as last year," Domenicali was quoted as saying on Ferrari's website. "Nine races means that a total of 225 driver points are available and rest assured that the goals we set ourselves at the start of the season are still perfectly attainable.
"It's true we've gone through a difficult period, especially in July and now is the time to react in the way that Ferrari people know well."
Alonso could only finish fourth in the German GP and then fifth in Hungary. Ferrari have long struggled to match their nearest rivals for qualifying pace but lately the concern has been their inability to match Red Bull, Mercedes and Lotus in the races themselves.
Domenicali said Ferrari's emphasis was on improving the F138 rather than what he termed the "driver topic".
Once again, Massa's Ferrari future has been called into question while the summer break has also been punctuated by speculation that even Alonso might head elsewhere.
"Our task is very simple: namely to give Fernando and Felipe the quickest car possible. Now, their contribution will be even more essential than ever," Domenicali continued. "We have spelt it out many times before: the driver topic is definitely not a priority.
"What counts is to give them the best possible chance of finishing ahead of everyone and, in order to succeed, each and every one of us must do our job to the best of our ability on all levels."
Speaking ahead of the Hungarian GP at the end of July, Alonso questioned the effect that another poor result might have on Ferrari's motivation. Four weeks on, it sounds as though Domenicali is leaving nothing to chance.
"I don't want to see any of you not believing in our fightback: each one of you must be the link in a chain of positivity that must drive the team along in what is a key moment in the season. We are Ferrari and history teaches us that we must never accept we are beaten," he added.
"There is much talk outside the company regarding the future, but we must concentrate only on the present, on the fight for the championship."
Alonso currently lies third in the drivers' standings, 39 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel, while Ferrari are also third in the Constructors' Championship behind Red Bull and Mercedes.