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Alonso vows to bounce back from poor start

Fernando Alonso conceded his career had seen "better Sundays" after finishing seventh in yesterday's Chinese Grand Prix, but vowed Ferrari would soon be back on the pace of the front-running teams.

The Spaniard has shown flashes of form so far this season but has been let down by bad qualifying performances, which have compromised his races before they have even begun.

Alonso has now finished behind team-mate Felipe Massa at the past two races and, although he enjoyed a good tussle with old foe Michael Schumacher yesterday, the two-time world champion admitted he could glean no satisfaction from battling down the order.

"It was a good battle, but I would have preferred to have been doing it for a podium finish rather than seventh place," said Alonso, who lined up fifth on the grid for yesterday's race, well over a second slower than Red Bull's pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel.

"Unfortunately, our race pace was too slow and I don't think that a different strategy would have changed anything. I've had better Sundays in my career, but I won't get downhearted or lose confidence.


"We know we have to improve to get to the front. McLaren and Mercedes have managed it and there is no reason to think we can't do the same."

Alonso insisted the team know where their weakness lies and will be working hard to rectify the issue in the three weeks before the next race in Turkey.

"Clearly, aerodynamics is our Achilles heel at the moment and that's what we have to work on at the most," he said.

"The car has not changed, while others have made progress."

Massa was at least moderately pleased with his showing after beating Alonso to the flag for the second race in succession.

The Brazilian has long been in the shadow of his Spanish team-mate but looked in good touch as he diced with the leaders during yesterday's race before eventually coming home in sixth place, only 15 seconds down on race winner Lewis Hamilton.

His result might have been even better had he followed Hamilton's lead and adopted a three-stop tyre strategy instead of two, but he was adamant that his afternoon was the best he had enjoyed in a long time.

"Probably we would have finished on the podium (with a three-stop strategy), but we need to look into all the details with the engineers," said Massa.

"I am happy with my race; I think it was my best this year and maybe even the best including last year. (But) we need to work out how to improve the car, especially in qualifying."