Formula 1

Alonso expects Ferrari improvement (©GettyImages)
Alonso expects Ferrari improvement (©GettyImages).

Fernando Alonso pinpoints Ferrari frailties

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Fernando Alonso insists his Ferrari team 'will improve' despite finishing a distant fourth after being outpaced by both Mercedes drivers and the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The double world champion identified drivability off the corners and engine performance as the two key areas the Ferrari needs to work on to catch Red Bull and Mercedes. 

"Traction was not good enough," said Alonso of his car's performance in Malaysia. "Out of the corners we were losing ground.

"We compare our traction with probably the best traction car out there, which is the Red Bull, so maybe it was more or less expected this deficit.

"With the top speed it's not secret we are not comparable with the Mercedes.

"They've been fastest in Australia, fastest in the [Bahrain] test, fastest here. I think we have some work to do.

"Obviously for Bahrain, there is not much to do because in a few days we are in the car again, but for China and Spain I think it's very clear what we need to bring to the car and we will do."

Despite the problems, Alonso's consistency and Ferrari's reliability means the 32-year-old Spaniard is third in the championship and only one point behind Malaysian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton.  

Hamilton's team-mate Nico Rosberg is 18 points ahead after adding second place in Malaysia to his victory in Australia, while four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel is seventh after scoring his first points with third place on Sunday.

Alonso has spent the first two races of the season fighting Force India's Nico Hulkenburg, rather than battling for race wins, but the Spaniard still feels Ferrari has the potential to lift itself to the level he expects to fight for the championship. 

"Obviously it's not the ideal position to start the championship, [but] the team is doing a massive effort to catch up and improve the situation," Alonso added.

"Personally I would like to fight for victories, but as long as you are in front of your team-mate normally you are doing something extra that the people expect.

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