By Alan Baldwin
BARCELONA, May 11 (Reuters) - Ferrari will be looking for answers in Formula One testing this week after champions Mercedes were more dominant than ever in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.
The race at the Circuit de Catalunya marked the start of the European season and Ferrari had hoped updates to their car might put them closer.
Instead, Mercedes took their third one-two in five starts with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel finishing third and 45 seconds behind race winner Nico Rosberg.
"The gap with Mercedes is there. Now we need to analyse all the data to understand," team principal Maurizio Arrivabene told reporters.
"What is clear, because we are not blind, is the fact that in the last sector we were losing half a second. I am not escaping from the reality, it is there.
"So we need to understand and find out how to improve the new package. But the new package is better than the old one," he added.
Arrivabene said the team would use the test on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Barcelona circuit to determine how much of the deficit could be attributed to the track characteristics and how much to the car.
"At the moment the numbers that we have in terms of comparison are telling us that the solution is good. But the reality is telling us that it's not good enough," he explained.
"I said at the beginning of the year that I don't want to point the finger on aero, engine and all of this. Otherwise we are creating the usual mess where everybody is freaking out left, right, up and down.
"We need to calm down, look at the numbers and to take a decision. I promise you that if we are making a mistake we are going to tell you," said the Italian.
Ferrari are firmly established as Mercedes' closest rivals, with Vettel winning in Malaysia to deny them a clean sweep of victories and appearing on the podium four times so far.
However Arrivabene said a championship challenge looked too far away, even if he still believed Ferrari could win three races this year.
"I don't really care about being on the podium," he added. "Now every race weekend we are on the podium. But what I care about is the gap because if we want to win two or three races we have to be able to be there. At the moment we are not." (Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)