Former World Champion Fernando Alonso today described Ferrari’s sluggish performance in Australia as far from “disastrous” despite bosses flying back to Europe for emergency meetings.
The Spaniard, who won the title with Renault in 2005 and 2006, finished a lacklustre fourth and over thirty seconds behind Sebastian Vettel in Melbourne.
“It wasn’t the start that we all wanted but nor is it anything to get worried about,” he said.
“Twelve points is not far below the world champion’s average last year and two title contenders finished behind me. So, overall, the Australian Grand Prix can’t be defined as disastrous.”
Alonso may not have considered the performance as disastrous, but Stefano Domenicali and several chief engineers made an unscheduled stop back in Europe before the Malaysian Grand Prix to try and fathom what had gone wrong.
Alonso qualified in fifth but dropped to ninth on the first lap after being forced wide by Jenson Button’s McLaren.
“Certainly in qualifying we were very far from Vettel’s Red Bull and far from Hamilton’s McLaren but in the race the situation was different,” he said.
“The start was a pity. If I hadn’t found myself down in ninth place at the beginning of the first lap I’d have been able to fight to the finish for the two lower steps of the podium.”
It was the third time Alonso had finished fourth in the past four years.