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Alonso targetting Shanghai podium

Saturday 13-April-2013 10:24

Fernando Alonso believes Ferrari can challenge in Sunday's Chinese GP despite losing out in qualifying.

Many had expected the Ferraris to fight for pole position after Alonso's pace-setting speed in final practice.

However, when all was said and done the Spaniard didn't even make the front row of the grid, qualifying third after losing out to Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen.

But despite the missed opportunity, Alonso says he is happy with the performance of his car going into Sunday's grand prix.

"I'm very happy; the weekend has been very good for us. The car felt competitive from Friday, this morning we made some changes and the car was responding well.

"I think we have a good setup for the race as well - which is always more important than qualifying."

Last season Ferrari demonstrated their race pace was better than their qualifying and the although the Scuderia appear to have upped the latter this season, Alonso reckons it is still over a long distance that their car is better.

"I think the race pace is normally better so I don't see any change here compared to any other race," Alonso said.

"I expect tomorrow to have a good position in the race fighting for the podium and hopefully for the win.

"I think especially with Kimi we will have a strong opponent because normally Lotus and him is one of the best at taking care of the tyres and tomorrow we know the tyres is going to be the key factor.

"Pitting first is obviously going to be an advantage in terms of pace but it's going to be a disadvantage in terms of traffic.

"You'll be in the middle of many cars that will probably be going longer; cars that are starting in 11th will go longer with the prime, also people like [Sebastian] Vettel and [Jenson] Button will be longer with the prime so it's something that we need to be very flexible in the strategy and very clever and hopefully take the best chance."

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Gallery: Qualifying Day In Shanghai

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