Skip to main content

Formula One: Ferrari plays catch up

updated 7:27 AM EDT, Wed March 19, 2014
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth and seventh respectively at the Australian Grand Prix.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth and seventh respectively at the Australian Grand Prix.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ferrari is playing catch up, admits the team's technical director
  • The 2014 Formula One season began on Sunday with the Australian Grand Prix
  • Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finished in fourth position in Melbourne
  • Alonso benefited from the disqualification of Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- The 2014 Formula One season may have only just got going, but Ferrari is already playing catch up.

That's the view of technical director James Allison, who admits the legendary Italian marque is some way behind early pacesetters Mercedes, labeling Ferrari's performance in Sunday's opening race as "unacceptable."

While Mercedes enjoyed a fruitful preseason and took the checkered flag at Sunday's Australian Grand Prix through Nico Rosberg, Ferrari struggled by comparison.

Double world champion Fernando Alonso was the team's highest-placed driver in fourth position, but the Spaniard finished over 30 seconds behind the victorious Rosberg.

A jubilant Nico Rosberg celebrates his superb victory in the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne. A jubilant Nico Rosberg celebrates his superb victory in the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne.
Triumphant Rosberg
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
Rosberg takes F1 season-opener Rosberg takes F1 season-opener
The 2014 Formula One season begins in Australia on March 16. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has enjoyed a productive preseason, topping the timesheets on the final day of the closing test event in Bahrain. The 2014 Formula One season begins in Australia on March 16. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has enjoyed a productive preseason, topping the timesheets on the final day of the closing test event in Bahrain.
Start your engines...
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Start your engines... Start your engines...
F1's big design changes

"While we can take some satisfaction from the reliability shown by the F14T, it is clear that we have our work cut out to improve our car in order to compete on equal terms with the Mercedes team," Allen told the team's official website.

Alonso finished Sunday's race in fifth position, but he was elevated to fourth place after Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo -- who crossed the line in second -- was disqualified for breaching fuel flow regulations.

Finland's Kimi Raikkonen, who is starting his second spell as a Ferrari driver after winning the team's last drivers' championship in 2007, finished seventh.

Like every team on the grid, Ferrari has had to contend with a raft of regulation changes introduced by the sport's rule makers for the 2014 season -- including the introduction of 1.6-liter V6 hybrid engines.

Read: Dominant Rosberg wins season opener

Allison says his team is still coming to terms with the new rules, but he's backed Ferrari to come back stronger than ever.

"With all the new regulations this year, the opportunities to improve the car are legion and we can expect the race to improve the cars to be even more intense than normal," he added.

"Our competitiveness was not acceptable in Melbourne, but we intend to fight our way back up the grid with the improvements that we will bring to the car."

Meanwhile the FIA, the body which governs F1, has announced its satisfaction with the fuel-flow meter which prompted Ricciardo's disqualification from the Melbourne race.

Ricciardo was disqualified post-race after it was discovered his car had exceeded the maximum fuel-flow rate of 100kg/hour.

Allowing fuel to flow faster than permitted rate would give the driver an unfair power advantage over his competitors.

The meter's manufacturers Gil Sensors have received "positive feedback" from the FIA. If Red Bull wishes to appeal the punishment, it must do so by midday on Thursday.

Ricciardo will be back on the track for the Malaysian Grand Prix on March 30.

Read: F1 technology to benefit road cars?

Read: F1's weird trip into the unknown

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 12:14 PM EST, Fri November 7, 2014
Glitz... check, glamor... check. Teams going bust... er, check. F1 generates billion-dollar revenues, so why can't some of its teams stay afloat?
updated 1:14 PM EST, Fri November 7, 2014
With the sport currently facing up to a financial crisis, motorsport journalist Ed Foster explores the history of F1 sponsorship.
updated 5:58 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
updated 1:45 PM EDT, Sun October 12, 2014
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
updated 6:39 AM EDT, Thu October 9, 2014
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
updated 9:58 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
updated 12:04 PM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
ADVERTISEMENT