• Korean Grand Prix - Qualifying

Alonso eyeing early 'attacks'

ESPN Staff
October 5, 2013 « Webber's car set up for overtaking | Qualifying struggles related to Pirelli changes - Raikkonen »
Fernando Alonso qualified 0.8s off Sebastian Vettel's pace © Getty Images
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Fernando Alonso says he will have to make his "attacks" early in tomorrow's Korean Grand Prix as he expects to struggle for race pace.

Ferrari's troubles on a Saturday continued with Alonso only able to qualify in sixth place originally, although he will start from fifth place as Mark Webber takes a 10-place grid penalty. With one of Alonso's strengths being an ability to make up ground at the start of a race he said it would be crucial to be aggressive because he expects to have difficulty fighting for a podium finish.

"This weekend we are not particularly strong; also in the race pace yesterday we saw some problems with the pace," Alonso said. "So I'm a little bit less optimistic in terms of winning the race or a podium finish for tomorrow but we will try our best.

"I think the start is a very short space to Turn 1 so we will do all of our attacks in Turn 3 and Turn 4. There is always some action in this race so we will see what we can do but we know that we will struggle tomorrow too."

Alonso pointed to the example of Sauber as proof that the tyre change during the season had hurt Ferrari's chances and expects to have less of an advantage on tyre wear.

"Here it's very easy to overtake so we need to see what pace everybody has. Also in terms of degradation we need to see, there are some cars that are behind us that are a threat like Webber. The two Saubers from the time we changed to the 2012 tyres they were out of Q1 and now they're both in Q3, so it was a big switch and a big penalty for Ferrari, for Lotus - Kimi's 10th today - and it was a big benefit for sometimes; Sauber is one big example. We need to see tomorrow because it's still very open; we can be on the podium or we can be out of the points.

"It depends how the pace is in the race and for this we need to prepare really carefully for tomorrow's race because it's not so straightforward that on Sunday Ferrari will improve and we will have a good degradation and we will pass people. It's not so clear this time and we need to work very hard."