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Red Bull made big step in Valencia - Domenicali
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali thinks Red Bull now has a clear performance advantage and has called on his team to try to bridge the gap to the RB8.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso won last weekend's European Grand Prix, but Sebastian Vettel took pole and held a 20 second lead at one stage before the safety car came out. The Red Bull featured a significant upgrade around its exhaust area, but the No. 1 car eventually retired with a reliability issue while Mark Webber came from 19th on the grid to finish fourth.
Domenicali said it was clear that the RB8 is now the car to beat.
"The Red Bull that we have seen this weekend is for sure the quickest in terms of performance," he said. "In the race it was able to keep the pace and be very strong so that is something we need to keep in mind. We know that our target [the championship] is at the end of November, but we also know that they did something very good this weekend. Yes, they had a problem with reliability, but we are not really at the level that we should be in terms of true performance. But we are leading the championship and that's something that will be very helpful for the people [at Maranello] to allow them to keep working with more ability and ideas."
Ferrari qualified 11th and 13th in Valencia and Domenicali admitted his team has a lot of work to do in order to stay competitive.
"We will never be happy until we are back on pole position," he added. "Unfortunately this is a very important element of the race. We are fighting to improve this car, but up until that moment we cannot be happy. The qualifying, from the pure performance point of view, we have to reach the highest level and at the moment we have to be fair and say we are not there.
"We need to keep really working with our feet on the ground, knowing that this is a completely different car to the one we had at the start of the season. I'm happy because the guys have reacted in the right direction and with all the pressure on my shoulders they have listened to everything - that's part of the game. We'll keep everyone focused on the right job to do at home."