F1: Fernando Alonso demands Ferrari work 'day and night' to give him fighting chance

The Prancing Horse has been off the pace so far this season

Fernando Alonso has called on Ferrari to work “day and night” in an attempt to fire the ailing marque back to the front of the grid.

Ferrari's failings this season were laid bare under the glare of the spotlights at the Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday.

On a track where power is critical, Ferrari found themselves lacking in that area, resulting in Alonso finishing ninth and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen 10th, both just over 30 seconds adrift of race-winner Lewis Hamilton.

With Mercedes the benchmark following their dominant start to the season, Alonso is again facing another catch-up campaign and a potential fifth year at Ferrari without a world title.

"Sunday's race was complicated for us, even if we knew what to expect, because with its long straights the track showed up our weak points," said Alonso.

"Although we did all we could, we can't be happy with our level of performance and now our sole focus must be on working day and night.

"The season is in its early stages and we can stage a recovery. We have the resources and the potential to do it and it's all down to us."

The teams return to the circuit on Tuesday for the first of four two-day tests this year as in-season testing returns to Formula One.

Whilst Ferrari know they cannot now alter anything to do with the new power unit as they have been homologated, they can focus on improving their aero package to find time.

"The test is very important," added Alonso.

"We have a very aggressive programme, which we need as our rivals will not just be sitting back and watching."

Team principal Stefano Domenicali claimed the weekend overall was "as difficult as we had thought it would be", with the grand prix one "we must forget".

President Luca Di Montezemolo attended his first race this year, and he would have been far from happy with what he witnessed as Ferrari struggled to make any inroads.

Domenicali has also emphasised the critical importance of the next two days in Bahrain, saying: "I expect to see an initial step up in terms of quality.

"The team must not get downhearted, even if things have not turned out the way they should so far.

"They must continue to work in order to step up a gear as quickly as possible."

PA

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week