• Australian GP

Ferrari 'not happy' with performance - Alonso

ESPN Staff
March 16, 2014 « Brake issue caused Kobayashi crash | Rosberg admits Mercedes 'not 100% sorted' »
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Fernando Alonso was not happy with Ferrari's level of performance at the Australian Grand Prix, but said there are still positives to be drawn from the weekend.

Alonso qualified and finished fifth - upgraded to fourth after Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification - but the whole field was outclassed by Mercedes all weekend. The Ferrari also struggled to match the pace of the McLaren and Red Bull, and Alonso said his car requires a lot of work to match its rivals.

"We are not happy with the performance that we showed today. We need to improve," he said. "I was not able to challenge McLaren for the podium positions and Kimi [Raikkonen] was running between the two Toro Rossos and he won the race here 12 months ago. But on the other side, it is just the first race of the championship and we cannot become crazy about the world we saw today.

"We know we need to work and we are ready to do so and to arrive in two weeks' time in better shape in Malaysia. That's what we need to do. On the other hand, it was very positive news that both Ferraris finished the race with more or less no problems. The start was very good, at the pit stops we overtook Hulkenberg, so there are some positive and negative things and we will try to improve the negative."

Ferrari struggled to match the straight-line speed of the Mercedes-powered car, and Alonso said his team was starting to understand where it was losing out.

"It's just the first race of the championship, so no-one can say who will win the championship after just the first race or who will lose it. We need to be calm and just need to do better next time. Now that we face competition wheel-to-wheel we can start to understand what are the areas to improve and the areas that we seem strong.

"Mercedes looked very strong in winter testing and they were very strong this weekend and won the race because they deserved to. At the moment they are a little bit ahead of everybody and we need to improve and try to reduce that gap between them and us to minimum at the end of each race, and hopefully finish in front of them and finish the race. Mercedes is very strong but we have ten more points than Hamilton today with a very strong car."

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