"There's a certain feeling of disappointment this afternoon and there's no point denying it," said Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali following the end of a problematic Canadian Grand Prix for the team.

"It's the first weekend in which we have not got the most out of what we had," he said. "But it's also down to the fact that the level of expectation was higher thanks to the progress we have made."

The setback in Montreal was down to just two factors: a small but crucial mistake by Felipe Massa on lap 6, and Fernando Alonso's one-stop race strategy being thwarted by an unexpected sudden drop off in tyre performance later in the race.

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"The real problem today was the tyre degradation, definitely not the strategy," asserted Alonso. "We need to work out how to improve the tyre degradation."

"To finish a race struggling with the tyres always hurts a bit, but for we engineers it's best to evaluate the situation with a cool head and not with the emotive images from the television in mind," added the team's technical director Pat Fry.

Domenicali agreed that they needed to look further into tyre degradation issues on the F2012 "which is proving to be ever more the key to this season." He added that the disappointment that the team felt after Canada was a sign of how far the team had already come - and how much they needed to keep up the drive and momentum.

"Let's not forget that yesterday we were fighting for pole and today, we were in the battle for the win right to the end: in Bahrain, a month and a half ago, not a year ago, we only got one driver into Q3 and we finished the race one minute off the winner," he said.

"We must continue to push on the development to close the gap which still separates us from pole position - only when we have done this can we claim to have reached our first objective," he continued.

"We leave Montreal convinced we have made a step forward in terms of outright performance, but aware that we did not pick up what was in our reach," added Pat Fry. "The F2012 has improved, but it is still not enough and we will have to work a lot on understanding the tyre degradation. We will head for Valencia with the aim of further improving performance and getting the most out of the potential available to us."

Alonso agreed: "For the first time this year, we have not just been trying to limit the damage, in that we were actually aiming for the win. It's a positive sign and now we must confirm it at Valencia and Silverstone," he said.

"We are definitely returning home with more confidence in our chances, because this was the most significant step forward we have made in terms of car development for a long time."

When it comes to the bigger picture, Stefano Domenicali was quick to point out that Fernando Alonso was still right in the thick of it when it came to the championship battle. After Canada, the Spaniard is just two points off Lewis Hamilton and one point ahead of Sebastian Vettel, making it all to play for with almost fully two thirds of the season to go.

"Fernando is only two points off the leader and the F2012 is back to being competitive enough to fight with the best," insisted Domenicali. "It was important to score points on a track that, going into the event, was definitely not one that suited us.

"Knowing we can count on a driver like Fernando, capable of completing a year's races all in the points is a factor that has its part to play when it comes to thinking about the title race," said the Ferrari boss.