'Ferrari not yet the fastest car'

Domenicali says close German GP showed rivals are very strong

Last Updated: 23/07/12 9:05am

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Ferrari are refusing to believe that they now have the fastest car in Formula 1 in wake of Fernando Alonso's third win of the season in Germany, insisting nothing has changed in the need to continue to develop the F2012.

Alonso heads into the season half of the season having opened up a healthy 34-point championship lead over Mark Webber while the two drivers the Spaniard himself has signalled are his two biggest rivals for the crown, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, are even further adrift with 10 races remaining.

But while they may have now won two of the last three Grands Prix and finished second in the other, Ferrari's Team Principal Stefano Domenicali continues to insist that the team have work to do before they have the best overall package on the grid - pointing to the way Red Bull and McLaren hounded Alonso for nearly the entire race on Sunday as evidence that they aren't quickest yet.

"It's true - that's what I said in Silverstone," he told reporters on Sunday evening at Hockenheim.

"I believe that we have not the fastest car. Of course if we had the fastest car it would be easier to win. We need to improve the car.

"We need to make sure our car is good in all the different conditions: wet, dry, different kind of tyres and so on.

"For sure in such a tight championship you need to develop the car race-by-race otherwise you will lose points because the competition is so strong.

"You think that today the first three cars were in two or three seconds, whatever it is, it's tough.

"Consider that Fernando did 67 laps of qualifying. They [McLaren and Red Bull] are very strong."

Although Alonso has pulled more than two race wins clear in points terms of everyone from fourth-placed Kimi Raikkonen backwards in the Drivers' Championship, including lead McLaren runner Hamilton, Domenicali is wary of writing anyone off at this stage with so much of the season still to run.

"I expect all the competitors [to still challenge] because we may have a difficult race and with such a close gap everything is possible," the Ferrari chief added.

"So I do not underestimate anyone in the first five or anyone else in the classification because I want to make sure that we are focused on maximising what we are doing."

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