Ferrari may have already claimed one win so far this season, but the team is keen on improving its qualifying form in order to challenge Red Bull and Lotus for both championships in 2013.
In an interview with Autosport, deputy chief designer Simone Resta highlighted Ferrari’s Saturday form as being the weak link in recent races. This was particularly evident in 2012, with Fernando Alonso missing out on the championship due to his poor qualifying performances, often requiring a fight through the field to make the podium.
“This year I think we have shown a reasonable race pace, and we closed the gap in qualifying, but we still need to work on that, and it is a priority for us,” Resta explained.
Mark Webber was recently quoted as saying that qualifying had lost importance due to the more aggressive Pirelli tires. However, Resta believes that a good qualifying position is still important, although this could sacrifice race pace on a Sunday.
“I think learning the tires and also how to treat them is an important factor in that, and concentrating your setup more to qualifying or more to the race is another factor.
“But I think for us, it is a priority to try and recover performance in qualifying.”
Ferrari has certainly made a big step forward with its qualifying pace since last season. So far in 2013, one of their drivers has qualified in the top three for every race, with the team locking out the second row at the last grand prix in Bahrain. However, with just four pole positions since the end of the 2008 season, the team will be hoping that Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa can lead the charge back to the front of the grid.