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Theissen: Ferrari still a step ahead

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport director, 2008BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen still thinks it will need Ferrari to trip up before his team can win their first Formula One race.

Although BMW Sauber are confident that they are now a match for McLaren, Theissen thinks that Ferrari are still a step too far ahead of them - although he is unsure of just how much of an advantage they have.

"In terms of car performance Ferrari has an edge," said Theissen, whose team briefly led the constructors' championship after Bahrain.

"In the past two races we were equal to McLaren, but the gap (to Ferrari), it is a bit difficult to find out how big it is because I am not sure if Ferrari were going full pace (in the races).

"But the gap is certainly smaller than it used to be. It is coming down, so Ferrari need a strong day to win the race. But if anything goes wrong we can be there, and I hope we will be there."

Although Robert Kubica has said he believes the F1.08 is better suited to the tighter tracks, Theissen thinks it is too early to say if that is the case.

"It is true that we have been particularly strong in the third sector in Barcelona, but then it depends on the aero and the chassis setup as well," he said. "On a different track it could be a different picture, so for me it is too early to say that."

And with the team's drivers having expressed some concerns about the start systems on the cars, Theissen thinks that the matter is now down to simply finding consistency.

"It is about fine-tuning and practicing," he said. "Certainly we can do something with the engine maps and the way of the clutch actuations, but then the drivers have to practice it as well.

"That is about it, so there is no concept change we could make. It is inherent with the new regulations that the driver plays a bigger role and every start is different."

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