Ferrari has admitted that it is "worried" about its reliability in the wake of more engine problems at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso lost valuable points when his engine blew up just a few laps from the end of the Sepang event. And, with customer team Sauber having also hit trouble, Ferrari knows it needs to get to the bottom of the problem as quickly as possible.
The events in Sepang were also not the first time that Ferrari has faced engine concerns this season, with the power units on Alonso and Felipe Massa's cars having had to be changed between qualifying and the race in Bahrain. Team principal Stefano Domenicali reckoned the first three races showed that the F10 had speed, but also that Ferrari needs to get on top of both reliability and the errors that messed up its qualifying performance in Malaysia.
"We are there," he said. "We are competitive, we are strong and we need to make sure that we are on top of the problems. Unfortunately, this weekend was the worst weekend in terms of a global result, mainly for two main factors – reliability, which was, unfortunately, not good enough; but we cannot forget also that the bad result of this weekend was related to qualifying, because when you start from 19th and 21st, to be there is a miracle."
He added: "When we have a problem with reliability it is a worry and we have to make sure we can solve it as soon as possible. We don't know what is exactly the nature of Fernando's engine problem at the moment, and we don't know what is the situation on the Sauber's engines. But what I can say now, as far as the information I have, is that these problems are different. This is in a way something that will add another reason to make sure we are on top of the reliability problems on the engine side. More than that at the moment is difficult to say."
Speaking about the lessons learned from the qualifying disaster, Domenicali said: "What happened on Saturday was not acceptable and we discussed it in the team. We don't have to take any risks, even if the other big teams did the same. It is a lesson learned for the group of people. But we need to keep working very, very strongly on the development of the car, because I am expecting the others to do a new step.
"We have a competitive package but it is never enough and we need to make sure that when we bring the new parts onto the track, they will be reliable. The data should be confirmed 100 percent, because with no testing you need to avoid having analysis of simulation showing that you have good numbers but then what is on the track being different. That is the approach that we need to keep for the next races."
When asked about who he thought had the fastest car, Domenicali said: "I think it is difficult to say for sure. Who has the fastest car after three grands prix? If I had to look from the number point of view, we are leading the championship so we should be fastest. But we know that it is a very optimistic approach and this is not the way that we think.
"We think that, looking at the results of the first three grands prix, Red Bull did three pole positions and they had reliability issues on other occasions. So the Red Bull seems to be the most competitive car. But I don't want to forget that also McLaren seems very good. That is the ranking I see if I had to freeze the situation today."