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Page last updated at 18:27 GMT, Sunday, 24 May 2009 19:27 UK

Ferrari take 'significant' step

Felipe Massa

Ferrari take positives from Monaco (UK only)

By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport in Monaco

Team boss Stefano Domenicali says Ferrari have made significant progress after closing in on 2009 pacesetters Brawn at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Kimi Raikkonen finished third, one place ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa.

"Both cars collected points which was a very important step," said Domenicali. "We are going in the right direction."

Raikkonen, who collected Ferrari's first podium of the year, added: "We need to be happy after such a difficult start to the season."

Ferrari emerged from their worst start to a campaign in 28 years at the Spanish Grand Prix as Massa limped home in sixth, sacrificing fourth when he mistakenly believed he was running low on fuel.

Kimi Raikkonen

Monaco result 'good for the team' - Raikkonen

But the team pushed on in Monaco as Raikkonen lined up on the front row alongside eventual race-winner Jenson Button before claiming third.

Domenicali was satisfied to see his cars exhibit genuine pace around the streets of Monte Carlo to spark hopes that Ferrari, and not Red Bull, can take the fight to Brawn in the remaining 11 races.

"Now we can see that we are closer to the other cars in front of us," the Italian said. "That's a good sign.

"That is good motivation for all the people at home who are working flat out to improve our performance.

"We now have to stay focused on our job and stay focused on our need to improve internally.

"Downforce is the most important thing that we have to recover as this will help a lot in the high-speed corners."

straits fan

The next race in Istanbul on 7 June will give Ferrari, who are now fourth in the constructors' championship, a chance to test their performance gains on a quicker circuit.

Massa topped the podium in Turkey last season for the Italian marque, with Raikkonen third, and Domenicali is hopeful the team will again challenge Brawn for podium places.

"Our aim is to be ahead of everyone and we will do all we can to achieve that as soon as possible," he added.

"I'm sure that in Turkey we will have another step - but I'm pretty sure our competitors won't be idle."

Raikkonen was pleased to recover some form in Monaco, but the 2007 world champion was keen to push on and add to his tally of 17 wins.

"It is a nice result but it's still disappointing not to be winning," said the Finn.

"We still need to improve the car and to be fighting for first places and hopefully at the next race we can fight against them again.

"We should get some new package again for the next race, and that should help."

Massa, who also earned his best finish of the season, added: "It was definitely a great performance.

"We showed our car is getting better and better every race and we are on the way up.

"It is too early to claim to be the second best team in the championship but I am sure we will see further results of that soon."

Jenson Button

Highlights - Monaco Grand Prix

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see also
Monaco Grand Prix race results
18 May 09 |  Results
Ferrari take positives from Monaco
24 May 09 |  Formula 1
Classy Button eases to Monaco win
24 May 09 |  Formula 1
Button exhilarated by 'exceptional' win
24 May 09 |  Formula 1
Fry praises 'special' Brawn win
24 May 09 |  Formula 1
Monaco Grand Prix as it happened
24 May 09 |  Formula 1
Monaco Grand Prix photos
24 May 09 |  Formula 1
F1 budget cap solution in sight
24 May 09 |  Formula 1
Ferrari fail in budget-cap appeal
20 May 09 |  Formula 1
Fighting Massa eyes Monaco podium
19 May 09 |  Formula 1
F1 on the BBC
01 Dec 11 |  Formula 1

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