Ferrari to investigate whether revised Pirelli tyres sent them off course at Hungarian GP
"I'm expecting a reaction from my technical group," says Domenicali
By James Galloway and Mike Wise in Budapest. Last Updated: 29/07/13 12:16pm
Ferrari: Off the pace in Hungary
Stefano Domeniciali has admitted Ferrari need to analyse whether the new range of Pirelli tyres has hurt the F138's performance after their fading title hopes took another knock at the Hungarian GP.
Having been hoping to improve on the fourth-place finish that Fernando Alonso achieved at the previous race in Germany, Ferrari fared even worse on the Hungaroring's tight confines as the Spaniard finished half a minute behind race winner Lewis Hamilton in fifth - the first time he has finished off the podium in consecutive races since last summer.
The last two results combined mean Alonso has now dropped to third in the Drivers' Championship and 39 points behind long-time rival Sebastian Vettel heading into the season's final nine rounds after the summer break.
Although Ferrari had only won once at the Hungaroring in any case over the last decade, their latest struggles there coincided with the introduction of Pirelli's tyre revisions.
Domenicali, Ferrari's Team Principal, acknowledged their usual strong race pace hadn't materialised on Sunday and they needed to investigate what exactly had gone wrong given the same tyres will now be used until the end of 2013.
"I don't know. For sure we have seen that we have lost [the performance] that we had," the Italian replied when asked if the revised tyres had affected the F138's competitiveness. "The race pace we were very strong, now in this condition, at least today, we have seen that we were not really where we wanted in both conditions - soft and medium [tyres].
"So we need to understand if this is the case how to react because this will be, in terms of structure, the tyres that we have up to the end of the season. Of course, a lot of the type of compounds that will be chosen in the races to arrive at the end of the season.
"So for sure this is something that we need to analyse carefully. It seems that, for example, Mercedes have solved the issue that they were suffering massively during the race in these conditions that's for sure."
However, despite the concerning nature of Sunday's result and the potential for further destabilisation after Alonso was sensationally linked with a shock Red Bull switch for 2014, Domenicali insists the Scuderia have no reason to panic.
He believes Alonso's fifth-place on the grid had at least represented a step forward in their long-standing attempts to improve their car's single-lap pace and is confident Ferrari are on course to deliver more pronounced gains when the season resumes in Belgium.
"It seems strange but I believe that after two bad races from a performance point of view that we had in Germany and in Silverstone we have improved the car for qualifying, for example, but we haven't for the race," he said.
"So we have already done a programme to be ready for Spa and hopefully we are able to manage it because there's no reason to be going to the press to be negative, it doesn't help the people to work.
"I'm expecting a reaction from my technical group and this is what I want to see."