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Gloom as Ferrari disappoints

AFTER another day of struggle yesterday, the Ferrari team acknowledged it faces a difficult task in catching up with the pacesetters of the 2009 Formula One season.

The team is pointless after two races and looks unlikely to score any points in Shanghai after yesterday's practice session ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday. Felipe Massa was only 12th fastest and teammate Kimi Raikkonen was 14th, reflecting how far off the pace the sport's perennial power team has fallen.

After dropping the problematical KERS power-boost system for the third race of the season, and still without a two-tiered diffuser to match those used by pacesetters Brawn, Toyota and Williams, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali acknowledged the mediocre results were not surprising.

"We will have to run a few races on the defensive and try to do the best we can," Domenicali said. "We are in a difficult situation and we must try and stay calm and work hard on all fronts," he said.

After sliding down the timesheets yesterday, Massa said the team had to work hard to catch up.

"I can say our fight for the championship is ever more compromised," Massa said. "We are losing even more performance, in addition to not having as much aerodynamic downforce as the best cars."

Raikkonen said he did not miss the KERS boost too much, but felt the team could yet rally.


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