• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Ferrari needs more from updates - Alonso

ESPN Staff
November 4, 2012 « Raikkonen hopes win spurs Lotus on | Vettel delighted with damage limitation »
Fernando Alonso: "When you bring hundredths and your competitors also bring new parts you are in the same position" © Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso said he felt second place was the maximum he could have achieved at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, adding that Ferrari needs to find more lap time from its updates at the remaining races.

Alonso drove a solid race from sixth to second on Sunday, but Saturday's qualifying exposed the F2012's weaknesses over one lap. The team had new front and rear wings, a new diffuser and new barge boards, but Alonso said the performance gains were not enough to narrow the gap to his championship rival Sebastian Vettel, who finished third after a grid penalty.

"I think they helped because when we got them to the track they gave us some performance, but we are talking about a few hundredths for each and for sure we still have a gap to close that is a matter of tenths," he said. "But when you bring hundredths and your competitors also bring new parts, you are in the same position. So we have to work at Maranello day and night to bring new parts and the mechanics at the track are doing their maximum to ensure that hopefully we can win.

"We were not super-competitive this weekend and we were sixth in qualifying after Sebastian's penalty. We had to fight all through the race and have some good overtakings and a very good strategy to give us the possibility to fight until the end for the victory on the very last lap. Perhaps Kimi was a bit slower so we attacked, but second was the maximum today after starting sixth so it was a perfect Sunday again for us and we keep fighting until the end."

Vettel finished third despite starting from the pit lane, but Alonso said he had not expected to finish as high as he did.

"We were concentrating on our race," he added. "Our simulations gave us the possibility to finish fifth or sixth, so we were not very optimistic with today's race. So whatever Sebastian was doing we were expecting to take ten or eight points maximum. So we concentrated on our race and obviously he did a very good race and was able to use the performance in some parts of the race when he was in clean air and the safety cars were good for him so there is nothing we can do except concentrate on our race. If we finish ahead of Sebastian at the remaining two races then maybe we have a chance and that is our concentration now."