Skip to main content

Ferrari revved up for F1 title fight

March 8, 2013 -- Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT)
Stefano Domenicali wants Ferrari to challenge for a first drivers' title since 2007.
Stefano Domenicali wants Ferrari to challenge for a first drivers' title since 2007.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Stefano Domenicali convinced Ferrari can challenge for F1 world title
  • Ferrari's Fernando Alonso missed out to Sebastian Vettel in last race of 2012
  • The Italian team has not won a drivers' championship since 2007
  • The 2013 Formula One season begins with March 17 Australian Grand Prix

(CNN) -- Stefano Domenicali insists his Ferrari team is ready for a tilt at the 2013 Formula One world championship, with the Italian team principal setting his sights on the podium at next week's curtain raiser in Australia.

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, a two-time world champion, was beaten to the 2012 championship by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel at the final race of the season having seen his challenge hampered by a stuttering start to the campaign.

Alonso and his teammate Felipe Massa struggled to match the speed of their rivals in the early races of last season, something Domenicali insists will not be a problem this time around.

Read: Kubica returns to motorsport

India's F1 story
F1's spiritual home in the U.S.
Stirling Moss: A history of Silverstone

"Unless someone else has done an exceptional job I'm convinced that Ferrari will be in the battle to the end," Domenicali told the sport's official website.

"I expect that the teams who finished in the top positions in Sao Paulo (last season's final race) will repeat that in Melbourne, probably with a reduced advantage -- that's what we are all hoping for anyway.

"A podium in Australia would be a good base on which to build the kind of successes we need."

Spanish driver Alonso was heralded for keeping pace with Vettel, who claimed his third consecutive drivers' crown, despite having a car many observers thought was too slow to compete.

Read: First lady of F1 takes control

After encouraging preseason tests, Domenicali is confident Alonso can deliver a first drivers' title since 2007 for the sport's most successful manufacturer.

"What are the factors that have convinced me that Ferrari has made a step forward?" continued Domenicali.

"The new business structure, the working methods, the modifications to the equipment that we have used to work on this car, the consistency of the results compared with our targets and what we saw in the recent tests.

"These all seem to tell us that we are on the right path at last compared to the past."

Ferrari will be entering its 63rd season in F1 this year, the only team to have competed continuously since the modern championship was introduced in 1950.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
ADVERTISEMENT