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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 March, 2004, 06:02 GMT
Ferrari 'will be caught'
Michael Schumacher leads Rubens Barrichello, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Jarno Trulli and the rest in the early laps in Melbourne
1 M Schumacher (Ferrari)
2 R Barrichello (Ferrari)
3 F Alonso (Renault)
4 R Schumacher (Williams)
5 JP Montoya (Williams)
6 J Button (BAR)
7 J Trulli (Renault)
8 D Coulthard (McLaren)
Ferrari will not dictate the season in the way they did the Australian Grand Prix, according to their rivals.

Renault engineering boss Pat Symonds, whose driver Fernando Alonso finished third, said: "It's a bit of a shock to see Ferrari dominate like that.

"[But] they had a great race here last year and they didn't look that great when they got to Malaysia."

McLaren's David Coulthard said: "They won't dominate every race. Things will swing around because of the tyre war."

Most drivers and team engineers believe that Ferrari's advantage was exaggerated because the cool weather in Melbourne played into their hands.

It meant Ferrari's Bridgestone tyres were better suited to the track than the Michelins used by all the other top teams.

BAR driver Jenson Button said: "Ferrari were very quick here [in Melbourne] last year and things changed a little bit when we got to Malaysia where it is hot. Let's wait and see."

Michael Schumacher said: "[Malaysia] represents the truer picture because [Australia] is completely ideal for us, and maybe not so ideal for our competitor tyres or cars."

He added that Malaysia will "show us where we're going to be. If we can compete there, then we're looking very strong".

Williams driver Ralf Schumacher said it was "worrying" that his car was a second a lap slower than the Ferrari in Australia.

But Williams technical director Patrick Head said he would be "very disappointed" if his team were not much more competitive at the next race in Malaysia on 21 March, where it will be much hotter.

"Obviously Ferrari were extremely fast," Head said.

"It sounds like an excuse, but the cold temperatures meant our tyres didn't work particularly well and the lap times were up and down like a yo-yo."

Coulthard added: "There is a lot of racing to be done yet."

Ferrari dominate first race
07 Mar 04  |  Formula One
Raikkonen slates McLaren
07 Mar 04  |  Formula One
Button pleased with points
07 Mar 04  |  Formula One
Ferrari surprised by lead
07 Mar 04  |  Formula One
Race as it happened
07 Mar 04  |  Formula One

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