Ferrari not too worried about engines - Alonso

Shanghai: Ferrari are not overly concerned about the engine problems which culminated in Fernando Alonso’s final-lap retirement from the last grand prix in Malaysia, the Spaniard said on Thursday.

The Italian team also replaced the engines in the cars of both Alonso and his Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa before the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix as a precaution.

“At the moment we are not too worried,” the twice world champion told reporters at the Chinese Grand Prix on Thursday.

“Obviously, we don’t want to lose any engines or have problems with the gearbox or anything like that. We’ve been very strong all winter so we cannot be happy with the problems we’ve had in the first races.

“(But) in terms of race engines for Saturday and Sunday we remain with the original plan.”

Ferrari had a disappointing 2009 but, a poor qualifying session and Alonso’s retirement in Malaysia apart, have looked strong so far this season.

They lead the constructors’ championship by 10 points from McLaren while Massa heads the drivers’ title race by two points from Alonso and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

Red Bull’s failure to turn their early pace into race wins before Vettel’s victory in Sepang would work to Ferrari’s advantage as they ramped up their development over the season, he thought.

“Hopefully, Malaysia was the last race of Red Bull domination,” said Alonso, who won in Bahrain.

“I expect Red Bull will be strong all season (but) we are ahead of them (in the standings), so their domination at the moment is not that clear.

“I have no doubts Ferrari will improve a lot during the season and we have the potential to improved the car very quickly,” he added.

Bureau Report