Alonso: The second gap is too much

Date published: April 9 2011

Fernando Alonso says Ferrari were just not “competitive enough” to challenge for a front row grid slot at Sepang on Saturday…

Fernando Alonso says Ferrari were just not “competitive enough” to challenge for a front row grid slot at Sepang on Saturday.

Ferrari failed to run with the Red Bulls and McLarens throughout the weekend and found themselves a second of the pace in Saturday’s final practice.

As a result, the team opted to send Alonso out for just one flying lap in Q3 where he managed to put his car up into fifth place.

However, worryingly for Ferrari, the Spaniard was 0.932s down on pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel.

“It was not easy,” he told the BBC.

“We found we were not competitive enough in morning practice, so it was again a conservative approach, and only do one run in Q3

“You have to risk but at the same time not too much. It is a stressful situation.

“We did our job today, knowing we must improve. A second gap between pole position and us is too much.”

The double World Champ, though, is feeling a bit more confident about Sunday’s grand prix where he believes Ferrari’s race-pace will allow him to challenge at the front.

“In the race I think it is much closer. I’m not so sure which conditions are better for us.

“The start will be interesting. Maybe we can overtake the Red Bulls here – we believe they do not have the KERS here.

“If it’s raining here, everything is a gamble.”

As for the title race, Alonso admits it’s important to score as many points as possible while Ferrari resolve their pace issues.

“At the moment this is what we have, and we need to score as many points as possible every weekend, and maybe tomorrow with the weather conditions things can change in the race. We need to maximise and take any opportunity that gives us.

“I’m very optimistic for the Championship chances. This is a long Championship, many races, many things can happen.

“Last year it’s true that we struggled in some races. I remember Turkey, I was out of Q3, I was P13, then one week later we fight for the pole position in Monaco.

“We have to be really concentrated. There is no secret, we need to improve, we must improve, for the next coming races, because we were not quick enough at the moment.

“But also we have to remain very calm and very focused, because the Championship is very long.

“We did only one race, and in that race we finished in front of Button, in front of Webber. We’ll see tomorrow what is the final position, but in one lap pace, we are not quick enough.”