Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali seeks qualifying improvement for Bahrain GP

No stopping Vettel and Hamilton for the last seven races

By Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 18/04/13 12:58pm

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Stefano Domenicali: Ferrari want a better display on Saturday this week

Stefano Domenicali: Ferrari want a better display on Saturday this week

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Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has called upon Ferrari to hit back in qualifying this weekend at Bahrain after seven consecutive pole positions for either Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton.

Although Fernando Alonso propelled himself to within a mere nine points of Vettel at the summit of the Drivers' World Championship with a dominant victory in Shanghai on Sunday, qualifying remains a relative weakness in Ferrari's otherwise formidable armoury.

Alonso is yet to line up on the front row this season and last claimed pole position almost a year ago at the 2012 German GP.

"It is clear that we are not at the level we should be in qualifying," the Ferrari Team Principal acknowledged. "We understand that some of our rivals are very, very strong and this is a target we need to achieve very soon in order to make sure that our potential during the race could be used in a much stronger way."

Last season, when Alonso's qualifying struggles were even more pronounced, he was twice forced into first-lap retirement after lining up in the pack. However, it's the clean-air advantage accrued from starting at the front of the grid that Domenicali is most concerned with.

"If you start in the leading then for sure you can handle the tyres in a better way," the Italian observed.

According to Sky Bet, Alonso is only a 6/1 contender to claim pole position on Saturday, while team-mate Felipe Massa is a 16/1 long shot to repeat his 2007 feat of starting from first place.

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