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Rediff.com  » Sports » Mamma Mia, says relieved Ferrari boss

Mamma Mia, says relieved Ferrari boss

April 27, 2009 11:42 IST

Formula One champions Ferrari scored their first points of the year in Bahrain on Sunday despite Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa flirting with disaster on the opening lap.

After three races had left the team in danger of their worst ever start to a season and prompted Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo to fly in for a show of support, the champions needed to move up a gear.

Instead, their two drivers almost provided another slapstick moment.

Massa, winner for the past two years in Bahrain, was sandwiched between Raikkonen's car and former Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP.

The impact broke Massa's front wing, although it took him two laps before pitting for a new one due to other technical problems with the car.

The Brazilian finished 14th while Raikkonen, who lost time in his final pit stop with a left front wheel problem, was sixth.

"First points was the minimum standard that we should have done today," team boss Stefano Domenicali told reporters.

"Unfortunately, we should have done the step with two cars...it's a pity where you start the race and see that our cars touch at the first corner. I said Mamma Mia, it's really difficult."

STARTED BADLY

The afternoon had started badly even before the cars took to the track, however.

"When we were in the garage before starting, we had a problem on the telemetry on Felipe's car. So I said 'Mamma Mia, really it will be another difficult Sunday'," added Domenicali.

"Basically, we were completely blind. We were asking Felipe to tell us and check some parameters on his own because we couldn't see.

"On top of that we had the KERS [energy recovery system] that was not running for him at the start and was going on and off during the race....maybe it was a problem of the temperature or some other thing."

Raikkonen's points lifted Ferrari off the bottom of the constructors' table and provided some respite from mounting media pressure at home.

"For sure it is a breath of air that we needed at this moment with the pressure that we have," said Domenicali. "But we need to keep our feet on the ground. It was the minimum that we should have done today.

"We need to make sure that we solve all the issues that we have. At least we know what we need to do. But it was really important to arrive at the chequered flag."

Source:
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