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 Ferrari: We've improved, but not enough

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PostSubject: Ferrari: We've improved, but not enough   Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:20 pm

Ferrari sporting director Stefano Domenicali has claimed that grid position will be absolutely crucial to deciding the outcome of this year's Formula One world championship, such is the competition at the front of the field.

With points leader Kimi Raikkonen admitting that starting from pole position in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix was crucial to his chances of success - as it had been for the seven men to take top spot in qualifying before him at the Circuit de Catalunya - Domenicali reckoned that the same could be said for the rest of the season, even at venues where passing is more possible.

"The most important thing that we saw is that qualifying is crucial," the Italian said of Barcelona, "The one who starts from pole has a big advantage, the advantage to make the pace. Qualifying will be, in my view, the thing that we have to concentrate on a lot because, if you look at the pace that we had on Friday, the gap seemed to be significant and, then, on Saturday, it was less, so we really need to focus our work on this part of the racing weekend."

Much had been made of Ferrari's possible advantage heading into the first European round of the season, but Domenicali erred on the conservative side when attempting to discuss the balance of power in Formula One.

"Normally, we try to simulate the performance that we gained, but I would say that we were estimating about one tenth," he said, "I don't know if it's more than that now, [but] I don't think it's enough. We saw that [the competition] are pushing like hell.

"It was a very different race, with two safety cars that interrupted the pace at which we were progressing, but we needed to keep up the pace - and we don't need to lose control of reliability because they were only three seconds behind us. The pace will be very tight. We are leading both championships, but it will be [a] very, very long [season], believe me.''

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