Ferrari faces battle to catch F1 pacesetters

Ferrari struggled for competitiveness in Australia

Ferrari struggled for competitiveness in Australia

Ferrari’s Australian Grand Prix performance was “not acceptable” and the team have “their work cut out” to close the gap to Mercedes, according to technical boss James Allison.

The Scuderia struggled to compete with the pace-setting Mercedes squad, with Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen finishing fourth and seventh respectively.

Alonso topped the first free practice session for the Prancing Horse, but the Maranello team was largely unable to match the its Mercedes, Williams, McLaren and Red Bull opposition.

Technical boss Allison noted the team’s performance had fallen significantly short of its Albert Park expectations, stating that the team would face an intense development battle to lift the F14T up the grid.

“Our competitiveness was not acceptable in Melbourne,” said Allison.

“But we intend to fight our way back up the grid with the improvements that we will bring to the car.

“While we can take some satisfaction from the reliability shown by the F14T, it is clear that we have our work cut out to improve our car in order to compete on equal terms with the Mercedes team.

“All the recent seasons in F1 have been characterised by a fierce development battle from March until November.

“With all the new regulations this year, the opportunities to improve the car are legion and we can expect the race to improve the cars to be even more intense than normal.”

Alonso’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen struggled throughout the AGP weekend for both balance and outright pace in his F14T.

The 2007 world champion says he knows which areas of the car need to be improved but fears it may take some time before he is able to challenge the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

“We know more or less what we want to do, but some things are not happening overnight,” said Raikkonen.

“It takes time to produce certain parts, or to have a certain way of putting the things on.

“We also cannot promise that it is going to fix the issues once we get something that we want.

“I have been in these situations before and sometimes it takes a while.

“Unfortunately it is not the most easiest position right now, but looking at how difficult everything was, we got something out of it.

“It is not what we want to achieve but it could have been even worse. I am sure we can only get better from there.”

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