Pre-season test relieves Ferrari | Pakistan Today

Pre-season test relieves Ferrari

There was a palpable sense of relief within Ferrari after the first day of pre-season testing a month ago. It was understandable because a year previously, come the conclusion to what was a nightmare opening day, Felipe Massa had been forced to make one of the most agonising telephone calls of his career. Massa has made a point over the years of relaying to president Luca di Montezemolo his first impression of a new car, and last year it was not a conversation he wanted to have.
The Brazilian had no choice but to describe the car as “a disaster”, one he was left struggling to drive and he found “difficult to keep on track”. As many observers had feared, the car’s performance matched its looks which had been described upon its unveiling a few days previously as “ugly” and akin to something Lego would build. Ferrari spent the rest of pre-season, and the first four grands prix, attempting to correct its many flaws and imperfections. There was a fluke victory for Fernando Alonso in the second race in Malaysia, but only because of the adverse weather conditions. Instead the Spaniard’s results in Australia, China and Bahrain of fifth, ninth and seventh respectively offered up a truer picture, with qualifying even worse as the car’s one-lap pace was virtually non-existent. If only Ferrari had found a more solid platform on which to build then it would have been Alonso, and not Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, celebrating becoming a three-times champion at the end of last year. Instead, a dog of a car and such wretched form over those first four races – Malaysia aside, of course – proved defining as the 31-year-old finished a meagre three points behind Vettel.

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