• Japanese Grand Prix - Qualifying

'I'm not doing good enough' - Alonso

ESPN Staff
October 12, 2013 « Vettel refuses to blame KERS for missing pole | Mercedes feels 'awesome' - Hamilton »
Fernando Alonso: "I just haven't had a good weekend so far" © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso has admitted he did not perform to his best in qualifying at the Japanese Grand Prix after he qualified eighth on the grid and a quarter of a second off Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa.

Alonso was beaten by Massa in all three sessions of qualifying and nearly 0.8s off the pole position time set by Red Bull's Mark Webber. He said there was nothing wrong with the car but that he had been struggling for pace throughout practice.

"I just haven't had a good weekend so far," he said. "I've been between seventh and ninth all weekend and I didn't find the pace and in qualifying I'm eighth again. I'm not doing good enough so far and I will try to recover some positions tomorrow."

Alonso is targeting a finish ahead of the Mercedes pair as Ferrari's second place in the constructors' championship comes under attack from the German team.

"Top five is maybe something realistic for us but we need to overtake a few cars," he added. "We need to also race a little but because in the constructors' championship we have Mercedes only one point behind and they are both in front of me and I need to finish at least in front of one of them."

Asked whether he found Ferrari's lack of qualifying pace frustrating, Alonso said: "I'm not frustrated anymore. It's been four years that we've been one second behind Red Bull. We were seventh in Korea, we didn't have the pace, we arrived here five days later and we didn't expect any miracles. We expect to be between 0.8s and 1.0s behind Red Bull and we are 0.8s, so that is not a surprise or a frustration at the moment.

"We are doing a maximum effort every weekend, we know some of the difficulties we have and we know the strong points, which are the degradation, the starts and the strategy and we use them to score points on Sunday. That allows us to be second in the championships and we will try to use these strong points again tomorrow. But on Saturday there are zero frustrations at the moment."

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