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Mat Coch writes:
Uncertainty abounds in terms of the Formula One pecking order even after the opening day's practice in Australia.
After twelve days of pre-season testing everyone has been left scratching their heads, while even now, after two practice sessions in Albert Park, Ferrari doesn't quite know where it stands - or if it does, it's not saying.
"We don't know exactly where the relative pecking order is between the top four teams," said Ferrari's chief designer Nicholas Tombazis. "I think in terms of performance we are approximately where we were expecting, compared to Barcelona, but as I say, as in Barcelona, and it also applies here in Friday practice, we're still unable to comment on our relative pecking order compared to our competitors."
On Thursday Fernando Alonso suggested as many as ten drivers could win Sunday's race, a view the Italian squad seems to have revised after the fortunes of McLaren yesterday.
McLaren's plight is somewhat reminiscent of Ferrari's last season; a slow start with a difficult car. Things improved as the year rolled on, Alonso remaining a title contender up until the final race in Brazil, something McLaren must be hoping to emulate.
Ferrari however seems not to have repeated the mistakes of 2012 and looks to be starting the year on a stronger footing. Both drivers featured strongly during the opening exchanges with Alonso describing his car as a "200% improvement" over last years.
Even still the Maranello squad, brimming with rediscovered optimism, doesn't know where it stacks up. The only thing it seems to know for certain is that Red Bull still looks the team to beat.
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