Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali is using Italy's 1982 World Cup success as motivation
The best team doesn't always win, says Team Principal
By Mike Wise in New Delhi. Last Updated: 28/10/12 3:39pm
Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali is using Italy's 1982 World Cup triumph to motivate the Scuderia as the season reaches crunch time.
For quite a few F1 followers, that moment has already passed given that Sebastian Vettel has just claimed his fourth straight victory at the Indian Grand Prix to stretch his title lead over Fernando Alonso.
Alonso produced another battling display to finish second on Sunday but Vettel now holds a 13-point lead with three races to go.
Domenicali admitted that Red Bull might hold an ace with their RB8 car but also claimed Ferrari have the best driver of all.
In terms of the overall package, though, he takes inspiration from the Azzurri's success of 30 years ago - Italy overcoming a poor start and knocking out the much-fancied Brazil side on their way to glory.
"It is clear that, at this moment, Red Bull has a better car, but what can we say? We cannot cry. We need to work hard full stop. By saying they are stronger, we don't have to change the approach we have in house," Domenicali said after the race.
"In 1982, in the World Cup in football, our team was not the strongest but we won the title. We have the luxury with Fernando that he is the number one driver."
Despite falling further behind Vettel, there was evidence that Alonso and Ferrari were a little closer to Red Bull in the race than they had been in Korea a fortnight ago.
Alonso remains convinced that he can fight for the title and his boss was equally forthcoming.
"I'm always optimistic. In life, it doesn't change if you are negative - it doesn't give you points. So if you keep the right approach with the guys then we can maximise what we have," Domenicali said.
"And this is what I ask of my people because when you are fighting, you have to use the tools that you have. You have to be brave to use the things that you have in the best ways that you can.
"There are the others and we have to respect them. But, for sure, their lives will not be easy right up until the end."
One crumb of comfort for Ferrari was that, alongside McLaren, they performed better than Red Bull on the hard tyre used later in the race.
The hard Pirelli compound will be used again in both Austin and Brazil, with Domenicali hoping for more of the same - even though he admitted Ferrari could not explain why it had helped them.
"To be honest with you, to say we understood that is not the truth. But we saw that and we need to consider that for the future," he added.
"It's something that we need to try to maximise. The race will turn up where we need to use more tyres because we have to do more pitstops.
"So if the hard tyres are back then we know we can use that as an extra thing to be used to push against them."
Meanwhile, Technical Director Pat Fry stressed to Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz that Ferrari's development push will continue unabated.
"We've just got to keep on developing it. We've got another few updates coming for Abu Dhabi and then some more for America. So it's not over yet and we're going to keep pushing them as hard as we can," he said.
"If we can improve our qualifying position...we make it too easy for Sebastian at the moment. He's away and cruising. We need to put him under pressure so hopefully we will be doing it in Abu Dhabi.
"It's going all the way down to Brazil."