Despite his dramatic victory in the rain-affected race in Malaysia, Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso kept a low profile ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, saying Ferrari's car is not fast enough in normal races.
Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain attends a promotional event organized by sponsors in Shanghai April 12, 2012.[Photo/Agencies]
"I think it's going to be a tough weekend for us again," Alonso said at a press conference here on Thursday.
"I don't expect any big surprises as we've been saying all week, the car has some small improvements, nothing big for this race. And I think it's more or less the same for all the other teams around us in the paddock. So I expect more or less the positions to maintain, or to keep the same as the first two races, which means a difficult to weekend for us."
Starting from the fourth row, Alonso gained a sensational win in Malaysia as many of the pre-race favorites hit problems.
With the full 25 points earned in Malaysia as well the 10 points from the fifth finish in Australia, the 30-year-old Spaniard is now leading the drivers' standings after the first two races of the season.
Asked whether he was praying for another wet race in Shanghai, Alonso said: "With a normal race we know our possibilities, we know our limitations at the moment, which is not quick enough. So in a wet race, we can lose a couple of points or we can win a lot more. Maybe this risk of a wet race can be good for us at the moment because in normal conditions we are not as fast as we expected."
Alonso had a good record in Shanghai, having won here in 2005 when he was driving for the former Renault team. And Ferrari have won three races in Shanghai in 2004, 2006 and 2007, but it won't be easy for them to repeat the victory given the fact that their new car's pace in the dry is something of a concern.
The weather forecast says it could be shower on Sunday in Jiading, the outskirts of Shanghai where the Shanghai International Circuit is located.