Updated: 24/06/2012 18:55 | By pa.press.net

Hard work keeps Ferrari in title hunt

Chief designer Nikolas Tombazis believes hard work and a calm approach have helped Ferrari this season

Chief designer Nikolas Tombazis believes hard work and a calm approach have helped Ferrari this season

Hard work and a calm approach have been hailed as the bedrock of Ferrari's resurgence and hoped-for title tilt this season.

Fernando Alonso's fortuitous victory in Malaysia aside there were early fears this would be a year to forget for Ferrari, but the Maranello marque have turned their season around to keep Alonso in the hunt. In particular, Ferrari have also conjured up qualifying pace, as proven by Alonso's second on the grid in Barcelona last month and third 10 days ago in Montreal.

"It's all down to a huge amount of work, from a large number of people, with particular emphasis on aerodynamics, design and production," said Ferrari chief designer Nikolas Tombazis. "It's been intense over the past few months, resulting in a big improvement in car performance."

He added: "We have worked with determination to deal with all the negative points we picked up right from the first test in the winter.

"At the start of the season we were in an uncompetitive situation, which was a big shock for me personally and for my colleagues.

"It has been a hard few months, but we put our heads down and tackled the problem calmly and I think the last few races have been a morale boost for all of us. It has made us believe we can get the job done."

It means Alonso, who led the championship after his Malaysian win and again following his third place in Monaco, goes into Sunday's European Grand Prix in Valencia just two points adrift of leader Lewis Hamilton.

Given no driver has taken a stranglehold on the championship with seven different winners from the opening seven races, it has also aided Alonso's quest. Tombazis, however, has confirmed Ferrari "reviewed the entire car" following their disastrous pre-season showing and in the build-up to the in-season test at the start of May.

Given the expectations on Ferrari, Tombazis is relatively content with how the team have hauled themselves out of the mire so far, but knows there is more to come.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's European Grand Prix in Valencia, Tombazis said: "Rightly or wrongly there is an expectation that, as Ferrari, we must be winning every race and always be competitive. At the moment we are reasonably satisfied with the point we are at now, given where we started from."

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