Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso believes Sebastian Vettel will be out of reach once again at this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.
Back-to-back wins mean Vettel already has a 30 point lead over 2010 title rival Alonso, with the Ferrari having struggled for pace – particularly in qualifying trim – during the opening two grand prix of 2011.
“Clearly, I would like to always be fighting for the win but, at the moment, one car, Vettel’s Red Bull, seems to be out of reach,” the Spaniard wrote on his Ferrari blog.
“Our aim in this Grand Prix will be similar to the one in Malaysia, which means to make the best of qualifying and try to exploit any opportunity that comes our way during the race.
“As we had already seen in Australia, and once again in Malaysia, our race pace was much better than that in qualifying. In Sepang, both Felipe and I were running at a pace good enough to get to the podium and that was an important indication, even if we did not end up getting all we could have done.”
Alonso also believes he would have easily passed Lewis Hamilton at the Malaysian Grand Prix had his car’s DRS not failed.
“I could comfortably have got past Hamilton on the pit straight and I would not have found myself having to fight him wheel to wheel and taking risks,” said Alonso, adding that “what happened is part of racing and you have to accept it: I was quicker than him and so I had to try and pass, otherwise I would have been caught by those behind us.”
Alonso and Hamilton were of course hit with penalties following the Malaysian Grand Prix – read Badger’s thoughts on that in this week’s Scrutineering Bay and join in the discussion.