Apr.16 (GMM) Despite winning in Malaysia last month, Fernando Alonso is expecting a miserable weekend in Bahrain.
On the back of his surprise Sepang victory, the Spaniard qualified and finished just ninth in China, and he is not expecting a better Ferrari until next month's return to European Grands Prix.
"Obviously, this (result) does not leave me very optimistic for Bahrain, on a track where traction and speed are vital, exactly the areas where we are weakest," said Alonso in Shanghai.
Even more bluntly, he said the Maranello based team is "far behind" the pacesetters because the F2012 has "big problems" in aerodynamics.
But the bright side, Alonso insisted, is that the field of 2012 is oddly tightly bunched.
"If we improve two, three tenths then we can jump several opponents," he is quoted by Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo.
"The fight now is for fractions of seconds."
Indeed, Jenson Button is ruing a team mistake - a cross-threaded wheel nut during a pitstop - that he says cost him a shot at Shanghai victory.
"There can't be many more mistakes if you want to compete for a championship, definitely not," he said.