F1: Mansell has a stark warning for Ferrari

FERRARI risk dropping further behind rivals Red Bull and McLaren if they fail to resolve the technical problems that have blighted their season so far, former world champion Nigel Mansell has warned.

Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso have both struggled to keep up with the pace of their British-based rivals this year, with neither driver able to win a race.

Alonso only lies 14 points behind championship leader Mark Webber but Massa's worrying dip in form has left him 26 points behind the Australian.

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Despite a Ferrari one-two in the first race in Bahrain, Stefano Domenicali's team have lost points due to engine problems.

Mansell, who won the drivers' championship in 1992, has been surprised by the team's lack of progress this year, and has warned that they risk slipping out of the title race if they can not field a car as reliable as their opponents.

"The biggest surprise for me this season is how Ferrari have gone backwards," said Mansell.

"There is a great saying in Formula One that if you stand still, you go backwards and I don't think they've done that much wrong, it's just that their development going forward hasn't been as good as other people's.

"The development of McLaren and Red Bull has been phenomenal."

Conversely, Mansell has been impressed with the performance of Jenson Button and his McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

"The two of them make a formidable team," said Mansell, who was speaking at the launch of the Nigel Mansell UK Youth Cycle Challenge.

"McLaren are revived, the combination of Jenson and Lewis is working fabulously. I said to everyone before the start of the season that Jenson would wake everyone up there and he has.

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"McLaren now, with the two drivers that they have, have an ability to do something equally as special again."

VISIT www.positiveaboutyouth.org to find out more about the Nigel Mansell UK Youth Cycle Challenge.