There's a certain sense of steely resolve in the Ferrari camp at Bahrain: the team fears it's in for another beating on the track at Sakhir, but at least once they get through the weekend there is the prospect of a welcome return to Europe and some major revisions to the F2012 car on the horizon.

"For us hopefully this will be the last grand prix of the most difficult start that we've had," said team principal Stefano Domenicali after Friday's practice sessions. "Unfortunately it's very painful for us but that's the way it is. So heads up and work hard."

Ferrari technical director Pat Fry was forthright about the situation facing the team this weekend. "We are at a track where traction and straight line speed are two key factors in achieving a competitive performance and, currently, the F2012 has shown itself to be particularly lacking in precisely these two areas."

"At the track the only thing we have to do is try to maximise the package that we have," agreed Domenicali. "The only objective we have at the moment is to try to score the maximum points and considering that we have been third in the Championship it means a lot. It means that we have to stay focussed."

A revised positioning for the exhaust and an overhaul to the approach to aerodynamic computer simulation and windtunnel testing are is just a few of the many modifications that the team are looking at introducing once they get back to Europe, before next month's Spanish Grand Prix. As for this weekend's race, it was too late for the team to make the significant improvements that were needed to make them competitive.

"Only the track has changed and the car has remained practically identical, therefore it would be hard for our position relative to the others to be any different," said Fry. "Why should we be surprised by our position and the gaps to the quickest?"

Despite all the problems facing the team, Fernando Alonso finished eighth fastest at a track that suits his driving style and which he enjoys racing at.

"Traditionally, I've always gone well at this track, one of the few where I have won three times," he said. "And so it's always a pleasure to drive at Sakhir and once again today I had fun."

"The fundamental thing will be to put together a car that is consistent in performance terms, to try and slow the rate of tyre degradation," said his team mate Felipe Massa, who finished in 12th place in the timesheets. "Without a doubt, we still have a lot of work to do."

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