Ferrari technical chief Pat Fry has described the performance of the upgrades tried by Ferrari in free practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as "promising," admitting that his team has to raise its game for qualifying.
Ferrari ran a modified front and rear wing, among other tweaks, and although Fry admitted that the team had yet to decide whether or not to continue running the parts, he is optimistic. Fernando Alonso ended the second free practice session in seventh, just over eight-tenths off pacesetter Sebastian Vettel.
"There are a few new developments on the car and we worked through our program this morning and this afternoon," he said. "It's looking promising, but we need to analyze all the data before we decided what to run tomorrow.
Fry agreed that qualifying was currently a weakness for the team. Alonso has not started higher than fourth in the seven grands prix since he took pole position in the wet in Germany.
"We are trying as hard as we can to improve the qualifying performance," said Fry. "Obviously our race pace is quite reasonable, as last weekend [the Indian Grand Prix] showed. We need to work on our qualifying, so we will keep on trying, keep on pushing."
Fry admitted that the team's push to win the drivers' championship in the closing stages of this season has had a knock-on effect on next year's car.
"I suppose we are a little bit later this year than we were last year with the new car, but development on that has been going strongly for quite a while," he said.