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GP Week : Issue 198
Fernando Alonso maximized his potential and reaped fourth-place points with a tactical race, which included leading the way in early, potential ‘undercut’ moves – the first of which very nearly got the Ferrari past Daniel Ricciado’s Red Bull (above). A relatively content Alonso also understands that the team still has significant ground to make up: “ T he points scored today are the result of a trouble free weekend, in which the small improvements on the car worked as we had expected and it ran ver y reliably. “We definitely have a lot more work to do, because while we are moving forward, the others are doing the same. Ever yone in our team is doing their utmost to close down the gap. “T here’s still a lot to learn in these early races, but it’s no secret that we definitely need to improve our top speed, as could be seen from my duel with Hulkenberg. I was able to get him thanks to fresher tyres, but we definitely need to up our per formance right from the ver y nex t race. “It will be very hot in Bahrain and the tyre compounds are sof ter. This might be an advantage to us, because on the harder tyres we are sliding a lot. Also, from the data we gathered there during winter testing, we might be able to extract more of our potential, but that will apply to everyone.” In contrast, Kimi Raikkonen’s early clash with Kevin Magnussen consigned him to a frustrating day: “I am ver y disappointed with how this race turned out, because I got a good start, but then the collision with Magnussen damaged my right rear tyre, which meant I had to make an extra stop. That wiped out any chance I had of fighting for a good finish. “After the accident, the car’s handling was not the same, as the tyre had caused damage to the floor, which led to a loss of downforce.” Fernando plays it craftily 30 GPWEEK.com // 30 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> MALAYSIA PARTNERS: