• Malaysian Grand Prix

Ferrari can match Lotus pace - Alonso

ESPN Staff
March 21, 2013 « Ferrari has strong race pace - Massa | Caterham and Marussia held merger talks »
Fernando Alonso: "I think the pace of the Lotus was very good but nothing we could not do" © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso says Ferrari could have matched the pace shown by Lotus in Melbourne and expects to be closer in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Kimi Raikkonen won by 12.4s in Australia as his two-stop strategy saw him leapfrog Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa. While Raikkonen also impressed by being able to pull away from the cars behind in the final stint of the race, Alonso said it was a pace Ferrari could also match and expects to be able to prove that this weekend.

"I think the pace of the Lotus was very good but nothing we could not do," Alonso said. "They had a very clean race with no traffic and a very good strategy but the pace was nothing out of reach. So I think here we can fight a little bit closer."

While Alonso is pleased with Ferrari's improved start to 2013 compared to last year, he said this weekend's race at Sepang would be confirmation of the team's status as one of the quickest.

"There is no comparison to last year. We were coming here out of Q3 and we were nowhere near where we wanted to be. This year is a little bit better in this aspect; we have a more-or-less competitive car, in Australia everything worked quite fine for us and we showed a good potential but it's true that the Australia circuit is very strange and a very unusual circuit so this weekend is for us a little bit of confirmation.

"We need to confirm that the car is performing well after some positive feelings in winter and some positive feelings in Australia. This is a very real test for us and we want a clear weekend and hopefully a good result. Podium will again be a very good target to achieve and if we do so I think we can be very happy."