Ferrari vow not to be left trailing by rivals in 2012

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer

Ferrari insist they will not make the same technical lapses that have denied them Formula 1 success in recent years.

The Italian giants have been left trailing by the advances made by rivals Red Bull and McLaren.

But team boss Stefano Domenicali says he has been seeking reassurances that Ferrari will not be playing catch-up again.

"The situation shouldn't be the one we have lived the last couple of years," said Domenicali.

"This year's car will be a break from the past. It will be a different car, with new concepts that were not used in previous cars. There is a lot of effort to maximise the performance in all departments."

Ferrari announced on Wednesday that they would be unveiling their new car on 3 February, ahead of the start of pre-season testing in Jerez on 7 February.

The pressure is on them to have a strong season after a disappointing 2011 in which they won only one race, the British Grand Prix with Fernando Alonso.

Ferrari eventually finished third in the constructors' championship, well adrift of winners Red Bull and McLaren, while Alonso was their leading driver in fourth.

With the 2012 season due to start in Australia on 16 March, Domenicali said Ferrari "must provide a car for Fernando to win the championship", adding that there could be "no more excuses".

Asked in a BBC Sport interview what this year's key innovation would be, Domenicali said: "That is the question that day and night I was posing to all my technical people.

"But we will only see in Australia if we have exploited the regulations to the maximum. I really hope my people have done a good job."

Domenicali has restructured his team in recent months, starting with the appointment of a new technical director in Englishman Pat Fry.

On Wednesday, Ferrari announced that former Bridgestone technical director Hirohide Hamashima would head up a department aimed at understanding the relationship between the car and tyres.

Pirelli became F1's sole supplier in 2011 and Ferrari struggled with tyre issues all year.

"That was another area where we didn't really perform very well," added Domenicali.

"In certain circumstances, when we changed the tyres it was like we had changed the car.

"We were very competitive with the soft compound and then going very slow with the medium and hard compound."

Ferrari also announced the appointment of former Mercedes engineer Steve Clark as head of race engineering.

It is also believed they have taken on a number of aerodynamicists from Fry's former employers McLaren.