Fernando Alonso has warned Ferrari must "improve a lot" if they are to mount a serious bid for the 2012 Formula One world titles.
"We definitely still need to improve a lot, working on our understanding of the F2012, adapting my driving style to a new car which, with the loss of aerodynamic downforce at the rear and the new Pirelli tires, is a bit harder to drive."
"We know in which direction we need to go in terms of car development and that's an important step," Alonso continued.
"Sure, we will have to grit our teeth for the first few races, but first of all, we have to see exactly where we are in terms of being competitive and then give our all to bring home as many points as possible in this early stage of the championship."
Alonso's teammate Felipe Massa remains confident that podiums remain a possibility at the first four races of the year in Australia, Malaysia, China and Bahrain, but the Spaniard is refusing to set any such targets.
"We have to stay cool and calm and take one step at a time," he said
"Once we know where we stand, then we can set ourselves more precise targets."
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