By Ferrari's own admission, Fernando Alonso got every bit of speed out of last year's F150. If the greatest team in Formula One history wants to restore its leadership position, it will have to develop a faster car and adapt better to the series' rapid rule changes.
"You always expect more and more from everyone, but to be realistic expecting more from Fernando than what he did last year is difficult," team principal Stefano Domenicali said yesterday.
"If he can perform at that level again it would be fantastic. But it has to come from our side and the engineering to make sure we're ahead of the others."
Ferrari has won more driver titles (15) and constructor titles (16) than any other team in F1, but it last took the team championship in 2008.
"(Alonso) really pushed himself over the limit last year," Domenicali said. "Over the last two years he's spent more time at Maranello than anyone else in my 20 years with Ferrari, that shows how much it means to him."
Ferrari has been working on its 2012 car since last season and has scheduled its unveiling for February 3.
"It's a break with the past, with new concepts never used in a previous car," Domenicali said. "The exhaust system is the biggest change and we've been working hard in the wind tunnel to get some extra performance in that area. But like last year we will only see the real scenario during qualifying in Melbourne - not before - because in testing everyone will try to mask themselves."