Alonso still has faith Ferrari can build a world-beating car
Fernando Alonso is convinced Ferrari is still capable of producing a world-beating car, even though he appears to be starting another season on the back foot.
Alonso finished fourth at the opening round in Australia but was a long way off the pace of Nico Rosberg's race-winning Mercedes. Ferrari has struggled for pace at the opening rounds of recent championships and has not led from the front with a clear advantage since Michael Schumacher's time at the team in the mid-2000s.
But Alonso does not think 2014 will be a repeat of Ferrari's struggles in recent years and is confident it will start to bounce back at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.
"We have more potential than what we saw in Australia and I think we need to put everything in place and have a better weekend," he said. "We also understand that we need to improve and it's not enough, especially as the Mercedes car looks very strong. But we have the potential and I think the team has the facilities and the talent to do a very good job.
"We are strong and we will do better, I'm pretty sure. We know that we have been bad at the start [of seasons] and it seems like a repetition of the last couple of years, but this is with different rules and a different rate of developing this year and the hope is still perfectly there."
Ferrari's main weaknesses appears to be its engine compared with the Mercedes-powered teams, but Alonso said it still had improvements to make in all areas.
"I don't know really how to answer. With aero or power or whatever we are lacking, you need to be clever and you need to find something that gives you performance. We are working on that and we know we need to improve on all areas of the car, some of them more than others, but we will not stop. We will work hard and improve the car. It's true the last couple of years we have tried to catch up on the aerodynamic side, which is always a little bit unpredictable because sometimes you find something in the windtunnel that gives you a tenth and other times it gives you four tenths.
"This is a little bit unpredictable and the same might happen this year with the power unit, but despite all the things that we have at the beginning of the year or in the first race, in four years in Ferrari I have fought three times until the last race, and this year I don't think anything will be different. We will fight hard."
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