Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo believes his team will need to give the maximum at every opportunity this season if it is to triumph in Formula 1 this season.
With just one week to go before the first race in Bahrain, di Montezemolo visited the Maranello factory on Thursday for the annual pre-season get-together to discuss the state of the team. Although pre-season testing has gone well, di Montezemolo has echoed the thoughts of other team members in his view that the outfit still has plenty of work ahead of it.
"We want to win and we're sacrificing a lot for that, but this is our passion's engine, our pride, our desire to demonstrate that we are the best team in the world," he told the race team staff, who had assembled in the logistics department. To reach this goal, we need to be aware of the fact that a tenth of a second can make the difference: this is why I ask you all, nobody excluded, to give it your all, at every moment.
"We have a driver, Fernando [Alonso], who is on top of his career and has all the attributes to win; we have Felipe [Massa], completely renewed after what happened last year. We're close to the best, but we want to be the best. We have a great team and we have to give our best to improve the car: grand prix after grand prix.
"We can't leave any stone unturned: on the track, at home, at the works, everything has to be done the best possible way. This is what I'm asking of you. You've done some great work and I want you to continue like this. I'm convinced that you can do it and I hope I will see you again soon to thank you for the results, to enjoy the victories we merit together. Good luck from my heart: Forza Ferrari!"
Alonso was given a standing ovation by the team as he took to the floor, as he spends two days at the factory in the simulator.
"I already told it to the newspapers but I want to tell you personally: This is the best car I've ever driven," he said. "This doesn't mean that it will be enough to win every single race, but I'm happy about how the tests went and I think that we're at 100 percent for the first race in Bahrain.
"We are Ferrari and we know from our history that we have only one goal: winning the championship. And I know that thanks to your work we can do it. We know that the first race is like the first stage at the Tour de France: what counts is winning. Felipe and I are extremely motivated and we'll give it our all to show that we merit the opportunity to drive a car like Ferrari."
Ferrari president Stefano Domenicali added: "We're in the top group, but not yet among the best. This has to be a stimulus, because we need to develop race after race, this will be the 2010 championship, but also the reliability will be important.
"The fact that we were the team with the most kilometers confirms how well we worked, but we can't stop paying attention. We have to know out potential and our strength, because we have people, resources and structures, which can keep up with everybody else. During the tests we've shown what we can do and now we have to continue to train."