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Motorsport | Formula 1

James Allison © Gallo Images

'Ferrari heading in right direction'



Ferrari's 2014 Formula One car is not as good as it needs to be but the Italian team are now moving in the right direction, technical director James Allison said on Friday.

"I don't think that we could claim to have produced a chassis that is at the moment the equal of either the Mercedes or the Red Bull," the Briton told reporters during the Monaco Grand Prix rest day.

"We're not lagging hugely behind but there is nevertheless work for us to do before we can hold our hand up and say that we were completely happy with the chassis performance."

Ferrari, the oldest and most successful team in Formula One history, have not won a race for more than a year and have had just one podium finish in five starts this season - Fernando Alonso's third in China.

The sport's glamour team changed principal just before the race in Shanghai, with Stefano Domenicali quitting and Marco Mattiacci drafted in from the car company's North American operations to replace him.

Mercedes have been dominant, winning all five races with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finishing the last four in a row first and second respectively.

Red Bull have won the last four championships and also the last nine races of 2013 with Sebastian Vettel.

Allison, who joined Ferrari last September after being a key figure at Lotus, said it would take time for the once-dominant team to fight its way back to the top.

"Ferrari is extremely supportive of me, of the direction I would like to take the car in technically and take the company in technically," he said.

"Much of what Ferrari does is already right. There were some things that when I arrived I wished to change direction on and improve upon, and time will tell whether my judgement is correct.

"I hope we'll see some of the results of that this season, I hope more the next and even more the next."

While Alonso is third in the championship, his Finnish teammate - and 2007 champion - Kimi Raikkonen is 11th and has scored only 17 points to the Spaniard's 49.

Allison rejected however a suggestion that Raikkonen was struggling more than Alonso.

"I'm not entirely sure that it's fair to say that," he said. "They both have similar feedback with the car.

"The sort of problems that Kimi has with the car in traction, the braking, downshifting - all those problems are pretty much the same as Fernando and I would imagine similar to those experienced by other teams.

"It's just going a little bit slower than Fernando at the moment but that gap is closing as the year progresses."

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