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3rd-Tier Ferrari pins hopes on Istanbul upgrade
Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso admitted that Ferrari could manage no more than third row grid slots in Shanghai Saturday because this year's car is simply too slow, again. Starting fifth, just ahead of teammate Felipe Massa, the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix winner missed pole position by 1.4 seconds.

“I had not expected much more than this from qualifying,” the Spaniard began. “Fifth and sixth places represent the maximum we can aspire to in our current situation. We already knew all about Red Bull and McLaren, but here we saw an improvement from Mercedes, so the situation is now even more difficult.

“We are trying to improve our performance: we are a great team and we know how to react; yesterday, we tried some new components, but it is still too early to use them in a race. We hope to make a significant step forward in Turkey. I would give the team ten out of ten for how they managed qualifying over these first three races.

“It went a little bit better than in Malaysia, but we are still behind,” Massa added. “Vettel’s performance is not surprising, whereas Webber’s definitely is. The McLarens are also quicker than us and Mercedes has improved and will be a very tough competitor tomorrow in the race.”

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