Ferrari needs to widen the operating window of its F2012 because it is only delivering its peak performance in selected conditions, says its tire guru Hirohide Hamashima.
Although Alonso's form in the Malaysian Grand Prix showed that the Ferrari can deliver in low-grip conditions, the team is still working on improving how it performs in other situations.
"Honestly speaking, still we are struggling," said Hamashima about the tire performance. "The car has potential, but so far we can't find the good point at the moment. In the winter, sometimes we could find the good point, but sometimes there was a big difference. And, at the same time, we have to find the good point and also make the car more robust."
Hamashima, who joined Ferrari after years working for Japanese tire company Bridgestone, thinks that the F2012 performs better in race conditions than qualifying - but he reckons that it will be able to be strong on both single laps and long runs.
"I believe that currently our car is stronger in race conditions than in qualifying," he explained. "But only two races have passed, so I don't know for sure. But at least we can say wet conditions are maybe preferable."
Speaking about the tire warm-up problems that Ferrari faced in recent history, Hamashima said: "We at Ferrari have solved the warm-up problem. But in terms of the different positions of the compounds by Pirelli, the car helps so much to fix the warm-up problem.
"Of course, in race conditions it is a compromise. If you warm up well, the degradation will be greater than previously, but once we can make the balance of the car right, I believe that we can get good warm up and good durability. So currently, we have to find a good balance."