Fernando Alonso thinks Ferrari must improve its qualifying performances in the remaining races of the season if it is going to win another race.
The Spaniard once again showed strong long-run pace in the Korean Grand Prix, but his chances of fighting for the podium were dented by a lowly grid slot and a poor opening stint. After the race, Alonso believed that Ferrari still had work to do to extract more speed out of its car over a single lap on Saturday.
"We had the pace at the end of the race and, it is true, with the soft tires we were quite quick. But in the beginning I was nearly at the maximum as well, so I don't think that with free air I could do much better than what I was doing.
"This is a consequence of a bad qualifying. It is something that we normally experience on Sundays – a better pace than Saturday's but always because the qualifying performance is not too good we find ourselves arriving to the leading group at the end of the race, a little bit too late.
"We need to improve pure performance on Saturday, try to start a bit farther up and then on Sunday, we know for whatever reason, our pace is similar to them. We arrive to the checkered flag once more to the group, in two seconds four or five cars, so it confirms again that on Saturday we are struggling a little bit, and on Sunday things improve a bit for us. We try to improve."
Alonso also admitted to having been lucky in his incident with Vitaly Petrov early in the race, when they arrived side by side at Turn 3 too quick for the corner.
"We were coming out of the pits, with a group of cars coming, and it was quite difficult this pit exit. We went to the DRS detection point quite close all together, Vitaly and me, and we had DRS available. He took the slipstream on me and overtook me. I took the slipstream of him and, with the double slipstream, we arrived 30kph quicker than everybody else!
"We braked too late both of us. I had the luck to be on the run-off area and he did not have the luck and found Michael [Schumacher]. One of the cars nearly hit me but I saw in the last moment and avoided the accident, so it was OK."
When asked about his radio comment in the closing stages of the race where he said, 'I give up', Alonso said: "I did 20 laps like qualifying laps to catch the group of cars in front of me.
"Two laps from the end I had a moment in the last corner, and I nearly crashed into the wall. I asked the team how many laps were left, and they told me two laps. I said I cannot do it guys, it was enough for today."