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Fry: Ferrari still almost a second off the pace 10 Apr 2012

Pat Fry (GBR) Ferrari Technical Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 25 November 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 25 March 2012 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 25 March 2012 Race winner Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari celebrates with the team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 25  March 2012 Race winner Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 25 March 2012

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso may be leading the drivers’ standings after his surprise victory in Malaysia last month, but technical boss Pat Fry has warned the team’s fans that the F2012 still lacks the pace of its front-running rivals.

“I certainly wasn’t expecting to have one driver leading the championship,” Fry told Ferrari’s official website. “From quite early on in testing, we realised we had quite a few issues we needed to sort out. Everyone at the factory has been working hard at that, as we still have a long way to go.

“Our (current) position is down to a combination of circumstances, especially the fact that Fernando had two very good races. I think our dry qualifying performance is still around eight tenths off the best while we want to be the best ourselves. Damp low grip conditions suit our car and flatter some of the issues we have with the F2012 at the moment.”

Fry believes Alonso’s fifth-place finish at the Australian season opener in Melbourne and his Sepang win owe more to the Spaniard’s talents and unsettled weather conditions than the car itself.

“The car is quite difficult to drive and Fernando has managed to get the most out of it,” he explained. “In Melbourne, after an issue in qualifying, Fernando’s good start and good first corner made up for a lot of things. The weather conditions at the last race worked in our favour, as our car worked well there and he made the most of the opportunities that came his way.”

With so much ground still to make up, Ferrari have been working hard over the last two weeks back at their Maranello factory to try and improve the car. The team expect to introduce some updates at the forthcoming Chinese event and then plan to bring a larger upgrade package with them to May’s Spanish race.

“We are constantly working on improving the issues we have,” said Fry. “New parts are coming through and we are trying to get them to the race track as quickly as possible. We will have five updates for China, some are quite visible, others less so. Then there will be a bigger upgrade package for Spain. It would be nice to have them earlier, but we have already brought forward some parts we were developing for Spain and we should have them in China.”

Ferrari's next challenge, the Chinese round, takes place in Shanghai from April 13-15.

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