- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
Alonso: Ferrari needs a sharp improvement
Question of the Day
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso acknowledges the team needs to improve sharply and quickly on the performance it showed in Sunday’s F1 season opener when the scarlet cars were well off the pace of their rivals.
Alonso finished fourth and the returning Kimi Raikkonen was seventh in the Australian Grand Prix, and while the team avoided the engine failures that hit Mercedes and Red Bull, it was also a long way off the pace of those teams, as well as McLaren and even Williams.
Alonso finished 35 seconds behind race winner Nico Rosberg, and when adjusting for the time behind the safety car and some late coasting by the German, it showed the Ferrari was about a second a lap slower than the Mercedes.
“We’re not happy with the performance we showed today, we need to improve,” Alonso said.
“On the other hand, it’s the first race of the world championship and we cannot become crazy about what we saw today; we just know we need to work.”
The gap to Mercedes was predictable heading into Melbourne, given the performance differential in preseason testing, but Ferrari would be concerned that it was also outpaced by Red Bull - which had struggled in testing - and a rejuvenated McLaren. Williams driver Valtteri Bottas may have finished 12 seconds behind Alonso, but that was after having lost a wheel early in the race and limping back to the pits.
Kimi Raikkonen, who was returning to the team to give Ferrari’s its first past world-champion pairing since 1953, was even further off the pace and spent much of the race battling with the Toro Rosso cars.
“It’s not the first time I have been in this position,” Raikkonen said when asked about a slow start to the season. “We will wait and see what it takes to fix this, if it takes a week or a month.”
Alonso and Raikkkonen were both promoted one place in the race classification after initial second place-getter Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull was disqualified for breaching this season’s new fuel flow regulations.
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is 'torture'
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq