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Allison: Ferrari targeting third

NEWS STORY
01/10/2014

Currently nine points adrift of Williams, Ferrari is targeting the Grove outfit in the final stages of the season.

"We left Singapore with some satisfaction that areas we'd been working on the car, to improve its mechanical grip for example, appear to be paying off for us," technical director James Allison tells the Ferrari website. "So we go to Suzuka and the remaining races determined to close the gap to Williams and then try and actually pull ahead of them, with the aim of securing a third place in the championship. We also plan to learn what lessons we can during the remainder of this season, to help guide us for the following year.

"In Singapore, I think Mercedes probably had a bit more pace in hand, so that brought the front of the grid a bit closer together than normal," he added. "Also, it's a track where the engine has a smaller effect compared with nearly all of the other tracks this year, so that provided another opportunity for the field to close up a bit. And finally, the nature of the corners at Singapore are also sensitive to the amount of mechanical grip that you can get from your package. That's certainly an area where Ferrari has been working recently and it allowed us to have a rather better weekend."

Looking ahead to this weekend, he said: "Suzuka is a track where the importance of having horsepower is just a little bit less than the average for the year, so while power is not super important here, it's not unimportant either.

"It's a track where a good handling chassis with a high amount of downforce is rewarded very strongly. Cars which score well on both those points will of course be right up at the front. But it gives some space to prosper to a car which is sweet handling and reasonable on downforce.

"Suzuka is one of the all-time great circuits, with some of the most challenging corners, one of the biggest tests of the car in the whole year, because it doesn't just ask of the car that it can go well in the fast "S" complex in the first sector of the track, but there are also slow corners, long straights and all manner of ways to reveal the weakness of either the car or the driver. A team that comes back from Suzuka having done well knows that they are a good team with a strong package."

Despite a weak start to the season, Williams has picked up 129 points in the last seven races, compared to Ferrari's 91, while Valtteri Bottas is just 11 points adrift of Fernando Alonso.

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