• Spanish Grand Prix

Alonso not expecting a quick fix

ESPN Staff
May 11, 2014 « Raikkonen fumes he is Ferrari's 'second choice' | Ricciardo sets sights on Mercedes after maiden podium »

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Fernando Alonso says Ferrari must do better after finishing sixth at the Spanish Grand Prix, but is not expecting a dramatic turnaround in form any time soon.

Alonso remains third in the drivers' championship but finished Sunday's race one and half minutes off the lead Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. The Spanish Grand Prix also marked a year since Alonso and Ferrari's last victory and he said the team simply needed to do a better job.

"The race has been difficult and the weekend has been difficult because of a lack of grip and difficult balance," he said. "We definitely had a difficult weekend. It's one year since the victory here, so a lot of time unfortunately, and we were not in a position to fight for more wins in the next 12 months. We need to do better. It probably will not happen soon because we have been lapped today, so we will not turn up in Monaco and be in a position to win. We just need to concentrate and work in every area of the car to become strong as soon as possible."

However, despite Ferrari's fluctuation in form, from ninth and tenth place in Bahrain to a podium in China, Alonso thinks the team has not lost any ground to Mercedes since the first race.

"We did the maximum today, but obviously we are not totally happy to be finishing so far behind the leaders. In a way we had this situation in the first race, because we finished one minute behind the leaders with some safety cars and today we didn't have safety cars so this minute was a minute and a half unfortunately. We need to work a little bit extra and it seems we are in a similar position as at the start [of the season] - they bring new parts, we bring new parts but we are equal. We need to do extra."

Alonso said his battle with Raikkonen in the final stint, which secured him sixth place, was a result of the fresher tyres he was running on his three-stop strategy.

"I think it's much better to fight for first and second, when we fight for fifth and sixth or sixth and seventh it's not the same pressure. I've been 35 laps behind him and at the end I overtook him obviously thanks to the strategy as well. I had newer tyres and I had the soft tyres and Kimi had the hard tyres, so I just had to compromise a little bit the overtake because it was 10 laps to the end and I had to save a little bit of fuel and I had to pass. I didn't know how to do both things at the same time, so I did a couple of laps saving fuel and then I attacked with four laps to the end and it was okay.

"But it was exactly the same points for the team and we need to better and fight for better positions to help Ferrari fight in the constructors' championship. Maybe Mercedes is out of reach but the other teams are within our potential, so we need to target the second place in the championship if we can."

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