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Ferrari can Match Lotus pace: Alonso


Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso believes Ferrari have nothing to fear from Lotus in the wake of Kimi Raikkonen's season-opening victory.

Raikkonen took the chequered flag in Australia on Sunday on the back of a two-stop strategy that worked brilliantly for the Enstone-based team.

That was in contrast to his rivals, led by runner-up Alonso, with the Finn leaving them all trailing in his wake as the five drivers behind him required three trips into the pits for new Pirelli tyres.

Raikkonen admitted his triumph had been one of the easiest of his 20 career victories, with Alonso finishing 12 seconds adrift.

Despite that, an unconcerned Alonso said: "I think the pace of the Lotus was very good but nothing we cannot do.

"They had a very clean race with no traffic and with a very good strategy, but their pace was nothing out of our reach."

Heading into this weekend's second round of the 19-race championship in Malaysia, Alonso is convinced Ferrari "can fight a little closer".

Alonso feels the Sepang International Circuit, which is bathed in heat and humidity, will be more representative of the season ahead than was the case with the Albert Park track in Melbourne.

The 31-year-old believes if his Ferrari performs well in Malaysia, that will bode well for the remainder of the campaign.

"In Australia everything worked fine for us and we more or less showed we have a competitive car," said Alonso.

"Although in Australia the circuit is very strange, very unusual, so Sepang will provide us with bit of a confirmation as to where we are.

"After some positive feelings over the winter, and again in Australia, we need to confirm the car is performing well

"So this weekend is a very real test for us, and if we are again on the podium that will be a very good target to achieve."