Alonso – “We Definitely Need To Improve Our Top Speed”

Ferrari will be looking  to close the gap on their rivals in the next Grand Prix in Bahrain after coming away from Sepang with mixed results.

Fernando Alonso endured a challenging weekend to finish the Malaysian Grand Prix in fourth place and keep his third place in the Drivers championship after two races and while the Spaniard was happy to get points he admitted there was still a lot of work to do this season.

“The points scored today are the result of a trouble free weekend, in which the small improvements on the car worked as we had expected and it ran very reliably. We definitely have a lot more work to do, because while we are moving forward, the others are doing the same. Everyone in our team is doing their utmost to close down the gap” said Alonso.

“There’s still a lot to learn in these early races, but it’s no secret that we definitely need to improve our top speed, as could be seen from my duel with Hulkenberg.” said Alonso before commenting that the team need to work harder for the next race to battle with the hot temperatures in Bahrain.

Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen finished outside of the points after an early collision with McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen dropped him to the rear of the field, the Finn was clearly downhearted after the race. “I am very disappointed with how this race turned out, because I got a good start, but then the collision with Magnussen damaged my right rear tyre, which meant I had to make an extra stop. That wiped out any chance I had of fighting for a good finish. After the accident, the car’s handling was not the same, as the tyre had caused damage to the floor, which led to a loss of downforce.”

Raikkonen believes if the collision hadn’t have happened he could have finished close to Alonso and felt there were positives from the weekend “It was a really unlucky day, but overall we managed to improve our performance and now we must concentrate on the positive aspects of this weekend and work to improve starting already next week in Bahrain.”

Team boss Stefano Domenicali wasn’t happy with the results from the day despite seeing Alonso keep his foot in the door of the Drivers championship battle “We cannot be happy with today’s result, because even if, on the one hand we managed to claim a fourth place that sees Fernando stay third in the Drivers’ classification, on the other hand, Kimi failed to score points when they were well within his grasp”

Domenicali is hoping that the team can work hard and turn the season around as he knows already that there is a lot of work to do if they are to catch Mercedes. “Even if there have been improvements on the performance front, the gap to Mercedes is still significant and that should motivate the whole team, at the track, but especially back in Maranello, to improve the car in every area. We know what areas we need to work on and we must try and do that as quickly as possible.”

Pat Fry added: We know we are working in the right direction, but if we want to reduce the gap to the leaders, we need to make a major step forward. Bahrain looks like being one of the hardest races of the season, where managing fuel consumption will definitely play a very important role.”