Fernando Alonso labels Ferrari's Korean performance 'not good' after frustration
Alonso admits Ferrari's long-run pace hadn't boded well on Friday
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 06/10/13 1:11pm
A pragmatic Fernando Alonso has admitted Ferrari's disappointing race pace in the Korean GP simply confirmed what they feared as early as Friday might prove to be the case.
Any late-season hope that Alonso had of clawing his way back into realistic title contention was all-but mathematically extinguished in Yeongam on Sunday as Sebastian Vettel swept to his eighth win of 2013 to open up a 77-point championship lead.
Indeed, while Vettel was in command of the race throughout, Alonso spent most of the grand prix trapped behind Nico Hulkenberg's slower Sauber having lost position to the impressive German on the opening lap of the race.
It meant that Alonso finished only sixth - his worst race result since May's Monaco GP - and gave way to the sobering realisation at Ferrari that their F138 car had slipped further off the pace.
"It was not good," a reflective Alonso told Sky Sports F1.
"Obviously we are not competitive in pure performance, we know that, but normally on Sunday we have good pace.
"But here also on Sunday we didn't have the performance we expect. We saw on Friday a little bit that the long runs were not as good as other grands prix and we knew that maybe the race was [set to be] tough. Unfortunately we confirmed this feeling today.
"At start in turn three we lost the position with Nico and then we were all the race behind Hulkenberg, which obviously doesn't help the tyres."
While his championship bid for another season could be declared officially over in just seven days' time in Japan if results go Vettel's way, Alonso still has hopes that Ferrari's Sunday Korean struggles will prove a one-off.
"We didn't have the pace. Hopefully in Suzuka we can come back to a better one and fight for the podium again," he added.
Vettel will secure his fourth straight title next weekend if he wins the Japanese GP and Alonso finishes ninth or lower.