Flavio Briatore has said that Ferrari will have to settle for fighting for third in the championship standings this season and will find it 'impossible' to catch defending F1 champions Red Bull in the 2011 title race.
Ferrari are already 55 points behind Red Bull after just three races after a difficult start to the new season, with the team set to use the three week break before the resumption of racing in Turkey to try and close the gap to the teams in front.
Team boss Stefano Domenicali has already admitted that there may be 'no quick fix' to Ferrari's current problems [See separate story HERE
] and former Renault team principal Briatore – who acts as manager for Ferrari's Fernando Alonso – has now warned the team that it shouldn't expect to get into a position to challenge Red Bull for honours.
"The pilot is important, but the car is even more so," the Italian was quoted by The F1 Times
. "If a driver is competitive, a competitive car makes a difference, but Fernando can not because the problem is the car.
"It is impossible to catch up with Red Bull, and Ferrari will have to fight for third place this season. The difference is big and I do not expect Red Bull to make the same mistakes of last year. In six or seven races they will have almost won the championship."
Briatore added that Ferrari was losing out to the likes of Red Bull because its 2011 car was 'flawed' and not benefitting from the creativity of someone like Red Bull's Adrian Newey.
"Ferrari lack something creative," he said. "They have the potential, financial resources and equipment. It is clear that they are going through a very difficult time and they must find solutions, especially in the aspect of aero."