Ferrari - Day to forget
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has deemed the team's performance in Melbourne as being unworthy of their reputation.
Last Updated: 29/03/09 2:27pm
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has deemed the team's performance in the Australian Grand Prix as being unworthy of their reputation.
The defending Constructors' Champions experienced their worst start to a season in 17 years when a risky tyre gamble backfired in Melbourne.
Kimi Raikkonen retired after clipping a wall three laps from the end while team-mate Felipe Massa retired 13 laps from the finish with a broken front wing.
They therefore failed to earn a point at the opening race of a Formula One season for the first time since the 1992 South African Grand Prix.
"This was definitely not a start worthy of Ferrari," Domenicali said. "To sum up, it was a day to forget."
With Massa and Raikkonen respectively starting sixth and seventh on the Albert Park grid, the team knew they did not have the outright pace of some of their rivals, particularly Brawn GP.
Instead, the decided to pin their hopes on strategy, with both drivers starting the race on soft tyres in the hope that they could gain an early advantage over those using the harder compound allowed - one which takes longer to heat up.
However, their tyres started to wear after just five laps and, when they came in to the pits early to change, they got stuck behind the safety car.
"I got off to a great start but the soft tyres were a problem," Massa said.
"We had to come in much earlier than we were supposed to...and then it completely destroyed my strategy when the safety car came out straight away.
"It was a very bad to start the season."
Raikkonen said he experienced trouble with the grip on his F60 after switching to hard tyres but admitted he was to blame for his late spin.
"I hit the wall quite hard," the Finn said. "I just suddenly lost the rear end. It is tricky with those tyres but it was probably my mistake."