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Ferrari: Mercedes and Williams better prepared for 2014 F1 start

Fernando Alonso watches Nico Rosberg's Mercedes, Bahrain F1 testing, March 2014

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says rivals Mercedes and Williams have prepared better for the start of the new Formula 1 season than the Scuderia.

Fernando Alonso clocked the third fastest time on the final day of pre-season testing in Bahrain on Sunday, but wound up a second adrift of Lewis Hamilton's pacesetting Mercedes, and 0.7s alower than Valtteri Bottas's Mercedes-powered Williams.

Ferrari has also suffered a number of niggling reliability issues with the F14 T and Domenicali said the team has work to do to catch up.

"At the end of this session we have done around 4000km, Mercedes close to 5000, Williams more or less close to that number, that means at the end of the day they prepare better for the start of the season," he said.

"It's a fact, so we have to start from this consideration, knowing that there is a huge amount of work to be done.

"Williams and Mercedes seem to be in very good shape, but that's what we have seen so far. I think we have a good base and we need to develop it.

"There is a lot of potential that needs to be discovered, that is the objective our engineers have to fix as soon as possible because the points we will score at the beginning of the season will be very heavy."

Bahrain F1 test in pictures

Domenicali suggested Ferrari still has not worked out how to extract the best from its new power unit, which appears to lag behind the Mercedes engine package at present.

Stefano Domenicali

"I think the most important thing to understand on our side is how to manage the balance between electrical power, the ERS, the battery, all these things have an effect in terms of horsepower," he added.

"We also need to get used to the massive difference of the car in terms of layout and management.

"This will have an effect on everyone, because if you have an issue, depending on what it is, during FP3 it will be an interesting challenge to be ready for qualifying, so I think that everyone has to learn.

"Some have shown to be a little bit ahead of the others, but let's wait and see when it counts."

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