Ferrari concerned over Silverstone form despite podium

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Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says Fernando Alonso’s podium finish in the British Grand Prix has not blinded the team to the fact their car was off the pace in the last round.

Alonso only qualified tenth with Ferrari the sixth-fastest car at Silverstone.

“For me this weekend in terms of performance was not really good,” Domenicali told AutoWeek. “We need to understand in these two or three days at home why, because there is something, I would say, bigger than little details that caused us not to be as we normally are here in Silverstone, better in terms of pace, and better at qualifying, everything.”

Ferrari fell to third in the constructors’ championship behind race winners Mercedes.

“We have seen that not only Red Bull now is strong, Mercedes is very strong,” said Domenicali, “they have solved their issue in terms of degradation.”

“So now if you want to win the championship, and this is the objective we have, we need to improve the car, and that’s the only thing that we have to do.”

Ferrari reacted quickly to the tire failures which occurred during the race, giving Felipe Massa an early second pit stop during the first Safety Car period to fit tires which were inflated to a higher pressure.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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