Ferrari has all but ruled out the possibility of finishing on the podium in the opening round of the new F1 season in Australia in two weeks time as the team ended pre-season testing still trying to gain a true understanding of the performance of the new F2012.
The team has struggled to match its rivals with the radical new car, which Fernando Alonso admitted was a 'complex machine' to deal with during testing.
While Alonso was second quickest on the final day of running at Catalunya, technical chief Pat Fry said he wasn't expecting the team to fight for a podium finish in Australia with the team having a lot of work to do before Melbourne.
“At the moment I'd say yes,” he was quoted by ESPNF1
when asked if he was ruling out podium finishes at this stage. “But I suppose that I am always slightly pessimistic. I am disappointed by out performance level at the moment and I think that we have a lot of work to do.”
Fry added that changes to the exhaust system of the Ferrari had put the team on the back foot and that the nature of testing meant it was difficult for him to try and judge where the team stands in the pecking order at the end of testing.
"The change we made last week to the exhaust position has put us a little bit on the back foot and we're trying to optimise to that,” he said. “We've obviously still got a lot of work going on at the factory and we'll have new bits to test in Melbourne.
"Testing is always hard to see exactly where you are. We knew historically what fuel levels people have run, so we've got an idea where they are, but if they've changed what they've done for the last two or three years, I could either be depressed, more disappointed or less disappointed, I don't know.
"I think we've still got a reasonable amount of work to do."