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Domenicali doubts Ferrari will set pace

ESPN Staff
February 26, 2013 « Austin hotels price themselves out of the F1 market | Renault must maintain V8 standards »
Ferrari's new F138 has looked more competitive than its 2012 car so far in pre-season testing © Sutton Images
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Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali doubts that the team will have the quickest car by the Australian Grand Prix.

Testing has been more promising for Ferrari than in 2012, when a disastrous pre-season saw the F2012 well off the pace come Melbourne. However, with Fernando Alonso having been slightly downbeat in Barcelona last week, Domenicali admitted at the Motor Sport Hall of Fame that the target for Ferrari was to get close to the pace-setters by the first race.

"The situation at the moment seems to be alright, alright with the programme that we have," Domenicali is quoted by Reuters. "The target is to be close together with the leading cars...I would be very surprised if it was the quickest (car) at the first race. But if we are all close together in a couple of tenths, then the season is really long and everything is possible.

"We need to make sure that we are close to the best car and then the team and drivers have to make the difference. In Australia it is not the end of the championship, it's just the start. We need to be careful and stay cool."

While keeping expectations in check, Domenicali did admit that the situation was much improved compared to the start of last season.

"It's another world. It's a totally different situation but we cannot underestimate that everyone is doing a good job, and as far as we can see from the tests I don't see a lot of changes in respect of what we saw at the end (of last year)."