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JANUARY 14, 2009

Who is going to win Formula 1 races in 2009?

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali says he does not know who is going to win in Formula 1 in 2009.

"This is a period which I believe is unique in the history of F1," Domenicali said in Madonna di Campiglio. "There are so many variables. I expect McLaren to be up there, as well as BMW, but I don™t want to be too specific since so much is up in the air. There is complexity added to complexity; the necessity to save teams, the necessity for cost-cutting. We therefore approach the season with great caution, with our feet on the ground."

What will be key is to have a fast and reliable car from the start of the year.

Domenicali says that the upcoming test in Portimao will be of key importance because it will give the top teams the opportunity to see where they are in relation to the opposition and that will dictate the strategies for the next two months.

"Testing in Portimao is going to be really important," Domenicali said. "It will be the first chance to see how the car compares to the McLaren, for instance, which launches on Friday. It has been mentioned already that this year we have no frame of reference so it will be the first occasion to see where we are in relation to our competitors. It will be extremely important to start with a competitive car, since there is no in-season testing. For that reason, I™m cautious when talking about our competitors."

Development in the course of the season will come largely from simulation technology and from the lessons learned at each race meeting. One area where there is also likely to be more development is in the manufacturing processes as the faster the teams can produce new parts, the more competitive they will be.