Ferrari plans an investigation back at its Maranello base this week to work out why its form fell short of expectations in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The Italian team had appeared to be as fast as Red Bull Racing with its long-run form throughout winter testing, but it could do little to recapture that form in Melbourne, where Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finished fourth and seventh. Although it is suspected its main problem related to getting its tires into the right operating window, which then had subsequent balance ramifications, the team says it cannot fully explain what went wrong.
"What we need to understand is why in this weekend we did not get out the performance that we were expecting from ourselves," said team principal Stefano Domenicali. "This is the main thing we need to look at back home and make sure that in Malaysia this thing will come back.
"For sure, this weekend was not the one that we wanted in terms of performance, but in the race I have to say with regards to Fernando, who was in ninth position after the first lap, that it was a really difficult situation.
"He did a fantastic race and he was able, also due to the strategy, to be faster and faster and fight for the podium. For sure, if he would have had a clean start then the race would have been totally different."
Massa, who especially struggled with the tires, thinks the problem could be track specific, after saying that the 2011 Ferrari had been better throughout the winter.
"For sure, the result at the end was not exactly what we expected to have," he said. "We expected to have a quicker car in qualifying at least. We didn't see that here.
"We saw a good direction in other tracks so maybe it was something that we maybe need to understand. What didn't work like we expected to see here, and what was not the same case in other tracks? That is something we need to understand for the next racetracks."