Catching Mercedes still possible - Alonso
Fernando Alonso insists he is not ruling out Ferrari catching up to Mercedes by the end of the season but admits it will be one of the biggest challenges of his career so far.
Alonso's podium in China came on a circuit more suited to Ferrari than Bahrain, but was a welcome result following the resignation of Stefano Domenicali on Monday 14. Despite the fact Mercedes' current advantage over the rest of the field remains substantial Alonso is determined to keep scoring good points while Ferrari works on its development.
"Well, of course it is a priority, we need to close, we need to catch them as soon as possible before the championship is over," Alonso said. "We need to keep scoring points, as many as we can now that we are not super-competitive, try not to lose too much ground on points in the championship, and if in one race we become as competitive as them, try to catch up in terms of points.
"At the moment, it seems very far away because they have a big advantage and we need to work really hard if we want to have that possibility. There is nothing really special we can do, just don't give up; we're in the fourth race in the championship, there's still a long way go but being super-realistic, knowing that the gap is very, very big it's going to be very tough."
The next race will be Alonso's home grand prix in Spain, and with three weeks for Ferrari to work on upgrades for the car he wants to see the team build on its positive result in Shanghai.
"We need to see, we need to remain very calm," he said when asked what the next three weeks would hold for Ferrari. "We were ninth and tenth 15 days ago and that was hard, even a bit of a pain. So we need to remain calm. We are happy, we need to enjoy the result today but still a long way to go and we cannot promise anything for Barcelona.
"We will give 100% again and we will fight - but in terms of result we need to remain very calm and see how development is these three weeks if we can bring some extra new parts for Barcelona."