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DATE News (chronologically)
05/09/09
f1
Rivals praise Ferrari's step forwards  (GMM) Ferrari may have admitted to a "stupid" and "serious" error regarding Kimi Raikkonen's qualifying strategy, but the team was praised by its rivals on Saturday.

Barcelona has been the scene of some major car updates, and the constructors' champions seem to have made the biggest step forward of all.

With even more fuel than those ahead of him, Felipe Massa qualified fourth at the Circuit de Catalunya, within mere tenths of the ultimate pace.

"We can see that Ferrari have made a step forward, but overall the status quo has remained," Renault's Pat Symonds observed.

BMW-Sauber also claims a step forward, but the fact remains that only Robert Kubica was able to scrape into the company of the top-ten qualifiers.

Brawn's pole sitter and championship leader Jenson Button remarked: "I don't know that anyone's really gone that much quicker except for the Ferrari.

"I think we have the legs on them at the moment but they're closing very, very quickly and I'm surprised, so they're one to watch over the next few races, for sure," the Briton added.

Massa may even have a starring role at the first corner on Sunday, as his KERS system is expected to deliver a gain of about 10 metres when the red lights go out -- and none of the cars ahead of him are also equipped with the energy re-use technology.

"I think I might start on the second red light," Rubens Barrichello, just one place ahead of Massa on the grid, joked.

He added: "It's not just the KERS at the start, as Jenson said, probably Ferrari would be at the top of the list in the classification of the improvements."
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