Formula 1 World Championship leaders Ferrari have admitted that they are conversely behind the game when to comes to development of the new KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) technology set to be implemented in 2009, leaving the Scuderia needing 'to do a lot in a short time frame'.

Last month engine boss Gilles Simon admitted that the Maranello-based concern is 'struggling' to get to grips with KERS - prompting speculation that it will be forced to begin the new campaign without it - and Force India business director Ian Phillips confirmed in Japan last weekend that the small Silverstone-based squad is now looking elsewhere for engines next year as Ferrari remain 'non-committal', F1SA reports.

Following on from that, the multiple world championship-winning outfit's technical director Also Costa has confessed in an interview with Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport that Ferrari's KERS progress is behind that of 'most teams', and that the aim is to debut its new system during a mid-January group F1 test that 'we really must not miss'.

"I cannot deny that we are lagging behind," the Italian affirmed. "Let me just say that I would prefer if our system was already in the testing phase. We now have to do a lot in a short time frame.

"During the battle for the world championship we have put a lot of effort into the F2008, and now we must also focus on next season."

Meanwhile, reports are suggesting that the winner of this year's Italian F3 Championship will be rewarded with a test in a Ferrari F1 car. Italian website 422race.com explains that this will come as part of the deal that sees the series supplied with engines by Fiat Powertrain Technologies, a company run by Ferrari's former head of engines Paolo Martinelli.

The three drivers still in the running for the 2008 crown are Mirko Bortolotti (Lucidi Motors), Edoardo Piscopo (Arco Motorsport) and Salvatore Cicatelli (BVM Target Racing), with rumours the arrangement could extend to the top three finishers in future. The final meeting of the current campaign will take place at Vallelunga this weekend.

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