Mike Stevens | Jan 13, 2011

Stefano Domenicali on Wednesday scoffed at claims Ferrari is trying to poach the "spirit" of the reigning champions Red Bull team.

The energy drink-owned company's motor racing advisor Helmut Marko had made the 'spirit' claim recently after Ferrari hired Red Bull's F1 strategist Neil Martin.

"Stealing their spirit? The only spirit I know is Ferrari's because I've spent my entire career here, and our spirit is fantastic," Domenicali is quoted by Italian media.

The Italian was speaking during a press conference at the 'Wrooom' media event in the Dolomites.

He rejected the traditional assumption that Ferrari is F1's biggest spender.

"Red Bull and McLaren spend more money (than Ferrari) on the construction of the chassis," said Domenicali, explaining that those teams "buy" an engine while Ferrari builds its own.

He said the debut of adjustable rear wings this year should mean qualifying is "not as important" as in 2010, but admitted he is worried about the innovation.

"I wonder, will this system make the duels more spectacular or too predictable? At the moment I'm a bit sceptical, but I hope to be wrong," said the Ferrari team boss.

And he backed Felipe Massa to bounce back in 2011 after noticing "a different face" on the Brazilian as he tried Pirelli tyres for the first time in November.

(GMM)

 

Ferrari To Launch 2011 Car On January 28

Ferrari will launch its 2011 car on January 28, the Italian team announced on Wednesday.

Maranello based Ferrari had already revealed that the car, codenamed 288 but perhaps to be officially named the F11, will be revealed to the world in the last week of this month.

The launch will take place at the team's headquarters, a few days ahead of the debut of the car at Valencia, boss Stefano Domenicali announced during a press conference at the 'Wrooom' media event in the Italian Dolomites.

Ferrari said that last Friday, the first chassis was being put together by the car assembly department.

Domenicali also announced to the assembled reporters that he is stepping down as FOTA's vice chairman, even though the current chairman Martin Whitmarsh is staying on.

He said his successor will be announced soon.

(GMM)

 

Kimi Raikkonen To Keep Rallying

Kimi Raikkonen has ended speculation about his motor racing career by signing up for another season of the world rally championship (WRC).

After talks about a possible return to F1 broke down, and then the death of his father Matti two days before Christmas, rumours had suggested F1's 2007 world champion might hang up his helmet.

Having made his debut with Citroen's junior team in 2010, the 31-year-old Finn has now formed his own team called ICE 1 Racing to run a Citroen DS3 WRC.

L'Equipe in France said the team is funded by Raikkonen's own sponsors.

The WRC confirmed that his entry for the opening Swedish rally was received "shortly" before this week's deadline.

L'Equipe said Raikkonen's has committed to 10 of the 13 rallies in 2011.

"With Kimi's limited experience, it may be better to do additional testing while the others are competing," his manager Steve Robertson told Finland's Turun Sanomat.

The 2011 season begins in mid February.

Raikkonen told the official WRC website that he considered returning to F1 this year.

"Of course I thought about it, because you think about everything," he said. "But I never really thought seriously about it, because actually I didn't miss formula one at all this season."

(GMM)

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