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Although Stefano Domenicali believes that Ferrari is in a much better position than 12 months ago, he does not expect the Italian outfit to be setting the standard at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on the streets of Melbourne later this month.
Following an extremely difficult pre-season phase in 2012, the team had to rely largely on Fernando Alonso to stay in the hunt for silverware. The Spaniard and team-mate Felipe Massa have both reported a vastly improved initial feeling with the new F138 chassis, but Domenicali is not expecting a significant change to the pecking order.
"The situation at the moment seems to be alright; alright with the problems we have," Domenicali explained. "We will soon know the exact situation, although not in Melbourne because that is only the first race. But in my view, the target is to be close to the leading car. I will be surprised if we are the leading car because with the stable rules we were not the quickest at the end (of the 2012 season)."
Domenicali added that Ferrari's target, which it failed to achieve in the early stages of 2012, is simply to put Alonso and Massa within touching distance of the leaders.
"If we are close together, within a couple of tenths, then with such a long season anything is possible," Domenicali began to sum up. "We need to make sure we are close to the best car, then the team and the driver has to make the difference."
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