Mike Stevens | Jul 15, 2009

FERRARI IS SET to abandon development of its 2009 challenger, to instead focus on producing a race winning machine for next season, according to team principal Stefano Domenicali.

The Maranello-based team has endured one of the most unsuccessful years in its history, failing to record a single point until round four in Bahrain before making its debut appearaence on the podium at Monaco, through Kimi Raikkonen.

A second podium finish for Felipe Massa in Germany confirmed Ferrari was progressing in the right direction, but Domenicali is keen to initiate preparations for 2010.

"We've already started work on the new project. And in the next couple of weeks we will move on to that. We want to start with a different pace compared to this year,” he told the BBC.

Much like rivals McLaren, Ferrari has suffered this season due to its commitment to the 2008 championship race, which ultimately delayed development on the radically different ’09 spec cars, and placed the team at a significant disadvantage.

But with the technical regulations poised to remain frozen for next season, Ferrari hopes to capitalise on its current misfortunes and dedicate time for next year’s campaign.

Meanwhile, the Ferrari-powered Scuderia Toro Rosso is expected to dump Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

f1_toro-rosso_01

Bourdais has failed to impress during his 18-month stint in Formula One and constantly found himself outperformed by teammates Sebastian Vettel and Sebastien Buemi, recording only four points-scoring finishes in 27 races.

The team has lined up Spanish teenager Jamie Alguersuari as a replacement, only weeks after he was elevated to reserve driver status ahead of Brendon Hartley, making him the youngest ever driver to race in Formula One.

Alguersuari is a product of the Red Bull young driver program, and won the British Formula 3 Championship last season – blazing a trail currently being followed by Aussie Daniel Ricciardo – making him eligible for the mandatory FIA super licence.

An agreement to bring Alguersuari on board despite his lack of experience behind the wheel of an F1 car as a result of the in-season testing ban was reportedly accelerated by the involvement of Spanish company Repsol, which will provide free fuel to both Red Bull-owned outfits.

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