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F1: Ferrari aim to keep cool heads after Malaysian flop

Team encouraged by pace of F138

26 March, 18:04
F1: Ferrari aim to keep cool heads after Malaysian flop

(ANSA) - Rome, March 26 - Ferrari are aiming to keep cool heads and focus on positives after their poor showing in the second Formula One race of the season in Malaysia last weekend.

Spaniard Fernando Alonso crashed at the start of lap two when his front wing fell off following an earlier collision with world champion Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull.

The team made a blunder as they had the chance to bring Alonso into the pits, but opted to risk keeping him out because they believed the wing was not badly damaged enough to fail.

Alonso's Brazilian teammate Felipe Massa, meanwhile, qualified on the front row of the grid but came home fifth, after having tyre trouble at the start of the race.

The Italian glamour team say the poor result has not knocked their optimism about challenging for this year's drivers' and constructor's titles.

Indeed, Ferrari released this week two separate statements stressing that they remained confident despite the "cold shower" in Malaysia.

The team are taking heart from the positive signs from the 2013 race car, the F138, which both drivers have said is on a different planet from its predecessor, the F2012.

Alonso came second and Massa came fourth with the F138 at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

And in Malaysia the F138 again performed strongly in qualifying, a major problem area in 2012, with Massa second on the grid and Alonso third, after they were fourth and fifth respectively at the start in Australia. "It's also clear that a detailed analysis of how the weekend went reveals plenty of positives, especially from a technical point of view," Ferrari said. "The competitive performance of the F138, which was already shown during the previous weekend in Melbourne, was confirmed on a circuit that is much more meaningful than the unusual characteristics of Albert Park (street circuit in Melbourne)".

Team Principal Stefano Domenicali said Ferrari have plenty of time to get over their bad day in the office.

"The championship is very long. It's important we stay cool and deliver our best," Domenicali said.

"Given the competitive performance level of our rivals, now the important thing is to turn the page.

"We must put this race behind us and calmly analyse the positive and negative aspects, as we immediately turn our attention to the next race in China".