Ferrari Seek Qualifying Improvements After Failing to Finish on the Podium in Korea


Fernando Alonso - Photo Credit: Ferrari
Fernando Alonso - Photo Credit: Ferrari

 

Fernando Alonso has said that Ferrari need to improve their performance on a Saturday if they are to get score at least one victory in the three remaining races of this season.

The Spaniard finished today’s race in fifth place, one place higher than he qualified, behind both Red Bull cars and both McLarens.

“It was a very close fought race, as indeed has been the case for much of this segment of the season,” said Alonso. “As usual this year, Red Bull and McLaren are clearly stronger in qualifying, but then on Sunday we are all much closer. All in all, it was an interesting race, with plenty of action.

“At the start, I was struggling a bit to match the pace of the leaders, because, after just a few laps, the Supersofts were already producing a lot of understeer. On top of that, being in traffic all the time compromised still further the tyre performance, because there was less aerodynamic downforce.

“When we switched to the Softs, the situation improved significantly and, with a clear track, I was able to push as hard as I could, but by then it was difficult to reach the small group that was fighting for the podium: hence what I said on the radio, having given my all for twenty laps, but there was no way I could do more with just two laps to go.

“We must try and improve our Saturday performance, but we will not give up trying to secure a win in the remaining races of this season. Furthermore, we will continue to work towards next year, trying new things and maybe, taking a few risks with our strategy.”

Felipe Massa finished sixth, one position lower than were he started. The Brazilian was not too happy about how his race unfolded. “I'm not pleased because small problems prevented me from getting a better result,” he said.

“I got a good start and, on the opening lap, I managed to make up some places, then at the first pit stop, I rejoined the track behind Rosberg and Button. This was mainly because the team had to keep me on my spot because Michael was coming and also because the other two had pitted before me.

“In the first part of the race, on the Supersofts, I was struggling a bit to match the pace of the guys in front, but then, once on the Softs, we managed to go very quickly. Then, after the second stop, I found myself behind a Toro Rosso and a Force India who were fighting amongst themselves and I lost valuable time which allowed Fernando to get ahead of me.

“Today, our performance level was better than it had been in qualifying, which has been a constant factor this year. Now we are off to the Indian Grand Prix, a new venue for Formula 1. I don't know the country and I am very curious to see what it's like, because I think it has a lot in common with Brazil, given that both are going through a period of strong growth.”

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali congratulated Red Bull on picking up another championship this weekend and insists that his team are still targeting another race victory before the end of the season.

“Having congratulated Sebastian Vettel last weekend in Suzuka, now it is right and proper that I do the same to Red Bull for taking the Constructors' title: they have the best car in the pack and this result is the logical consequence of that,” he said.

“Logic also dictates our result in this race: we have the third best car in terms of its potential and we finished the race in fifth and sixth places. Our race pace is definitely better than our outright performance in qualifying and that means we end up almost always fighting for a place on the podium, but if one does not start from the two front rows it becomes difficult to target the top places.

“Now we must try and bring our season to a close in the best possible way, because we firmly believe we should still be able to take at least one more race win. It will be extremely difficult, given how our rivals are doing, but we will definitely be trying.”