Ferrari: We struggled to find the right grip level but there’s margin for improvement 1 November, 2013 Fernando Alonso Drivers and team report from the first day of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, Round 17 of the 2013 Formula 1 World Championship, at Yas Marina Circuit. Fernando Alonso: “Compared to other Fridays, today we were a bit less competitive than usual and now we need to work out if that is down to the fact that the track characteristics do not suit our car, or if it’s a question of set-up. The tyres work better here than in India, where they suffered a lot from blistering in the fast corners, … here they are better, especially at night when the temperature drops. Unfortunately, in performance terms, we are behind our rivals for second place in the Constructors’ classification. Compared to the start of the year, they have improved and will be difficult to beat, but tomorrow we will make some changes and will do our utmost because we absolutely don’t want to give up the fight”. Felipe Massa: “Today we got through the entire programme we had planned for this day, concentrating on set-up and the behaviour of the two Pirelli compounds. At the moment, I am not very pleased with the car’s behaviour, as we are not as competitive as I’d expected to be. On this track, we found ourselves running in daytime in the sunshine, with very high temperatures, with the conditions changing completely in the evening and in this situation, it’s not easy to understand which direction to go in. Now we will try and work out how to improve the car’s performance for tomorrow’s qualifying, which we know won’t be easy, but we’ll give it our best shot”. Pat Fry: “As far as the work programme was concerned, this was a Friday like any other, but when it comes to the results it was rather complicated. We had a few small aerodynamic components to try and the analysis crossed over the performance of both cars, which provided enough data to choose the best configuration for the race. Here, in order to establish the best set-up, you have to take into consideration the changing track conditions between the first and second sessions. In both of them, we struggled to find the right grip level, especially on the Medium compound. In the late afternoon, the situation got better and we worked on the balance of the cars, but the results were not that satisfactory. The performance difference between the two compounds is very high and some cars, including ours, made up almost two seconds a lap. This unusual difference in performance from the Medium tyres clearly shows what a margin for improvement there is and that’s why tonight, we will evaluate solutions better suited to giving our drivers a more competitive car”. Subbed by AJN. Related NewsAlonso reveals he suffered numbness and headaches after Abu Dhabi impactAlonso: My back is in pain because it was a big hit, but I still have all my teethAlonso to have more medical checks after Abu Dhabi impactFerrari: We leave Abu Dhabi aware that we have limited the damageNo penalty for Alonso after pit exit incident during Abu Dhabi GPAlonso: Saturdays are good for the show and for talking, but points are on SundaysFerrari: We have struggled to be competitive at this trackAlonso: Every weekend I repeat the same thing, my relationship with the team is perfectMassa: It’s very important for Brazil to have a driver, a successful driver in Formula 1Alonso thumps journalists in kart race at Ferrari World’s latest attraction spornbot Perhaps Ferrari should rename themselves STRUGGLE. That’s all they ever seem to do.