Rampf - We're level with McLaren

But BMW technical director admits Ferrari well ahead of both

BMW technical director Willy Rampf insists his team are on par with McLaren, but concedes both are still off Ferrari's pace.

The Hinwil-based outfit have picked up three podium finishes so far this season and are sitting pretty behind Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship.

Robert Kubica dropped from second to third in the drivers' standings after he was forced to settle for fourth place behind Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Rampf, though, believes BMW and McLaren are currently in the same league.

"Ferrari are still ahead of us and ahead of McLaren, and with McLaren we are very close," Rampf told Autosport.

"In race one they were ahead of us, in race two slightly and in race three we were quicker and in race number four we are equal to McLaren.

"Now it is between the two teams to see who can make the next bigger step. To fight against Ferrari will be very difficult because they are a few tenths ahead. Two tenths is not enough."

The BMW technical director believes a poor start in Barcelona cost them another podium finish.

"We expected more from Robert," he said. "I thought we would achieve a podium with Robert with the performance we had in qualifying, and we knew the performance between us and McLaren would be very close.

"The race was decided more or less before the first corner, because we lost our position against Hamilton and throughout the race we had the same pace, we even had the same strategy by accident, and we were not close enough to jump him on a pitstop.

"Our pitstops were a bit quicker than his, by about half a second, and with a two second gap you don't make it."