Ferrari technical chief Pat Fry says the pressure on his team to deliver much-needed improvements to its car has not eased, despite Fernando Alonso's victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Alonso's success at Sepang on Sunday has lifted him to the head of the World Championship standings after the opening two races of the campaign. But despite the encouragement that comes from the situation the team is in now, Fry says there is no escaping the reality that the outfit must deliver big gains in performance if is to launch a serious championship bid with its troublesome F2012.
"I think the pressure is on the team to try and get the car performing," said Fry, who is working on a series of updates to the car that should be ready for the Spanish Grand Prix. "Here [in Malaysia], if anything, we had to do the best we could to make the most of the situation. In these situations our car is quite reasonable. But if it had been a completely dry race it would have been a totally different story."
Ferrari's rivals know that the weather did play a major part in allowing Alonso to overcome the current deficiencies in his car, but they concede that tire factors do appear to be helping Ferrari as well.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "These tires are slightly more benign than last year, but they are not easy and we are still learning. This is the second race on these new tires, and we haven't much experience.
"If it was a dry race we were strong, but in these wet/slippery conditions other people can fall into the sweet spot and that builds confidence. But [having Ferrari win] is good for the championship, good for the sport, and good for the audience. It wasn't so great for us, but it could have been worse.
"We don't underestimate Ferrari. But it was a bit of a turn-up for the books that they did win."