Romeo Ferraris Operations Manager Michela Cerruti says that the team ‘still have to grow as an organisation’ after a difficult first weekend in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) yielded no points.
Both Fabrizio Giovanardi and Gianni Morbidelli struggled for pace in the team’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta cars throughout the weekend, failing to break into the top twenty in either qualifying session before scoring no points in the races.
Giovanardi came closest in race two with a 13th place result, but the 51-year-old ultimately retired from the final race of the weekend with a broken oil sump.
Morbidelli struggled even more, retiring from races two and three due to contact and a puncture respectively, heaving on Saturday finished in just 20th place.
Cerruti believes that the team will take longer to get up to speed than their rivals, having joined WTCR from the TCR International Series last year.
“Without any doubt, it has been an eventful weekend,” said Cerruti. “In terms of performance, we were not expecting to be the fastest but we were certainly penalized by the rain encountered in free practice.
“Coming from a different environment, we have been faced with teams that are already well-organized while we and Team Mulsanne still have to grow as a joint organization.
“Fabrizio and Gianni have done a great job to find the right direction, and without the contact, we would have easily made the top fifteen.
“This was certainly not the most favourable track for our cars, which has a completely different BoP in the new series. Hopefully, the forthcoming tracks should suit us better.”
Giovanardi was optimistic about the results, believing that points would have been possible but for contact from his competitors.
“I had a lot of fun in the second race,” said Giovanardi. “If we had started a little further up the grid we might have been able to get points but going from 22nd place to 14th was very fun and exciting. I hope my fans have enjoyed themselves as much as I have.
“We are discovering the secrets of the Giulietta. I felt quite comfortable and could fight with the other cars.
“In the next trip to Hungary we hope to start from the good thing done here in Marrakech and aim a little higher.
“I was ready to fight even in the third race, but this time it did not go as we hoped. Starting from the back is always difficult, we have not yet had time to analyse what happened, but it could be overheating of the brakes.
“I still enjoyed doing the ‘number’ to keep the car away from the wall. Unfortunately, the broken oil sump prevented me from continuing. We have learned a lot and I am satisfied. Positive results will come.”