MODENA , Italy - Ferrari's struggles in the Australian Grand Prix can be attributed to the title fight with McLaren that went down to the final race of last season, the Italian automaker's president Luca di Montezemolo said on Tuesday.
"There's no doubt that we're paying for how the 2008 season went down to the final turn in the final lap of the final race," Montezemolo said on the sidelines of a book presentation, according to the ANSA news agency.
"We and McLaren had to develop the car right up until the end, while the others could work on completely new projects many months earlier."
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton narrowly beat Ferrari's Felipe Massa for last season's title.
Massa retired due to a steering failure in Melbourne on Sunday and teammate Kimi Raikkonen sent his Ferrari into a wall. Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello of Brawn GP finished 1-2 and Hamilton was third. - Sapa-AP