Five a surprise for Alonso

2012-03-19 07:53

MELBOURNE, Australia – Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso surprised even himself on Sunday by finishing fifth in the season-opening 2012 Australian F1 GP but still wants an upgraded car as soon as possible.

He produced one of the drives of the day from 12th on the grid but said he was relieved to finish behind the two McLarens and two Red Bulls rather than expressing satisfaction.

"It was a tough race for us and we knew that before the start," he said. "We had some good battles, we had a good start, so we recovered some positions. After qualifying fifth behind the McLarens and Red Bulls, it was a pretty good result in terms of points.


"Priority is to improve the car. We were fighting with Williams at the end of the race. We'd prefer to fight at the top and this is our goal for the next race."

He added that the team would not be able to make any significant improvements ahead of the Malaysian GP on March 25 and would have to wait until the third race in China to start to close the gap to the front.

"The cars will be nearly identical [in Malaysia] because it is next weekend," he said, “but we will try to improve something in the set-up to adapt the car for that circuit and then I'm sure for China and Bahrain we will have some updates.

"It'll be the same for the others but I hope ours will work a little bit better. We need to change the direction quickly if we are to challenge for the championship. We have to react."