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Ferrari boss: 'We have to be perfect'

Fernando Alonso had to drive with a broken rear wing during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Story highlights

  • Ferrari aiming for perfection after errors in Malaysian and Bahrain grands prix
  • Fernando Alonso has fallen to fourth in 2013 Formula One drivers' championship
  • Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel leads from Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen
  • Ferrari say mechanical fault to blame for Ferrari's rear-wing failure in Bahrain

Italian motorsport maestros Ferrari want to get back to being "bellissimo" in Barcelona next month after two team errors saw their No. 1 driver Fernando Alonso fall behind in the race for the Formula One title.

Alonso dropped to fourth in the drivers' championship -- and 30 points behind the leader, Red Bull's reigning champion Sebastian Vettel -- after his race in Bahrain was compromised by problems with his car's rear-wing overtaking aid.

The Spaniard also crashed out of the Malaysian Grand Prix when the team failed to call him back to the pits to repair a damaged front wing that had slipped dangerously underneath his car.

The mistakes mean Ferrari -- who have not won the team title since 2008 -- are now third in the constructor standings behind Red Bull and Lotus.

After the first four long-haul destination races of 2013, the team have returned to their Maranello headquarters in northern Italy where team principal Stefano Domencali has issued a rallying call to the famous racing marque.

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"We have to be perfect in every area," he said.

    "Responsibility lies with reliability, from the smallest to the biggest components, to ensure the level of perfection that has to be the standard for Ferrari. We must work with renewed attention on this front."

    That extra attention to detail has already begun at the Ferrari factory as the team's engineers solved the problem with Alonso's faulty drag reduction system (DRS) -- an overtaking aid which increases the car's straight-line speed by flipping open the top flap of the rear wing -- the day after the Bahrain Grand Prix.

    Analysis revealed the problem was caused by a broken mechanical component. Ferrari say it was the first of its kind in the three years since DRS was introduced to F1.

    But the team say there is still work to be done, especially as Ferrari's Brazilian driver Felipe Massa also had a torrid race in Bahrain, finishing 15th because of tire problems.

    Alonso had started the race in third place but battled his way to eighth after stopping twice so mechanics could mend his car's faulty rear wing.

    "It's hard to recall a race where so many things went wrong," commented Domenicali.

    "The DRS failure prevented Fernando, who yet again produced a great performance, from fighting Vettel for the win.

    "Then for Felipe, there were the two tire-related problems that pushed him out of the points and prevented him from getting the top-five finish that was within his grasp.

    "In these first four races of the season we have not managed, for various reasons, to bring home the points that were within our grasp. That's why the gap to the top in both classifications seems quite large."

    Strong performances in Australia and China, where Alonso raced to a dominant victory for Ferrari, continue to give Ferrari hope that they can still challenge their main rivals Red Bull, Lotus and Mercedes in the title hunt when racing resumes in the Spanish city of Barcelona on May 12.

    "We believe in our ability to be in the fight for the titles right to the end and this time, we have been in that fight since the start, which has not been the case for a while," said Domenicali.

    "We must not be discouraged, quite the contrary, because we have seen so often, both in our favor and against, how things can change in a hurry."