Scuderia Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has conceded that Ferrari are 'behind' its main rivals following the Australian Grand Prix, despite getting its cars home well inside the points.

Speculation over the true pace of the Italian marque heading into the 2014 F1 opener had been rife, with many suggesting the team had been sandbagging during pre-season testing.

However, come the race weekend, while Ferrari were seen to be fairly competitive and reliable, neither Fernando Alonso nor Kimi Raikkonen were unable to mount a podium challenge in the races, the pair coming home fourth and seventh (following Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion ahead).

Indeed, despite the decent haul of points, Domenicali admits there is still much work to be done by the team if it is to get on terms with Mercedes, even if he suggests other teams are within range.

"It's difficult to say for sure [where we are]," he said. "We had some issues to solve that have been improved but not fixed yet, so we will know exactly where we are going to be when we are ready. We are behind, so what we have to do is make sure that in the next few days we work at home and concentrate in trying to speed up the recovery we need to have.

"It was a very disappointing race and I can understand the fact that we didn't take away the maximum from our performance. At the beginning there was a problem with Fernando and Kimi, then there was the traffic... I think realistically speaking, we have seen Mercedes are strong but the others, maybe without the problem we had, it would have been a different scenario."

A particularly troubled weekend for team returnee Raikkonen, a race winner with Lotus in Australia the previous year, the Finn would struggle to get comfortable in the F14T as he fought a rear-guard action for much of the race.

Despite this, Domenicali feels Raikkonen showed notable improvements over the course of the weekend and is confident he will be back up to speed come Malaysia.

"I think we need to help Kimi in trying to find the right balance with the car, because he deserves that. I think there was an improvement over the days but we are still not where we want, because this is something as a team that everything is done in order to help his driving style. I'm sure for Malaysia that will be much better.



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