Alonso upbeat about his chances in China (VIDEO)

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Fernando Alonso might not have qualified on the front two rows of the grid for tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix, but the Spaniard is pleased with his fifth place finish and believes that Ferrari has made a marked step forwards in recent weeks.

The team has made its worst start to the season since 2009, and this resulted in team principal Stefano Domenicali resigning from his position on Monday. However, Alonso is confident that he can fight to finish on the podium in China given the updates that have been put on the F14 T car.

“We definitely have improvements on the car,” he explained to NBCSN after qualifying. “We tested in Bahrain in the test and yesterday, and they seem to perform well. It seems to give us an extra performance that we did not have in the first three races.

“Tomorrow I hope that transforms into a good result in the race. We’re starting in a position that gives us the possibility to fight for the podium, starting fifth, so that’s the good news from today, but tomorrow we need to leave with a good result.”

Alonso also explained how the start that he makes to the race tomorrow will be key in giving him a chance to score Ferrari’s first podium finish of 2014.

BMW confirms IMSA, WEC GTE line-ups for 2018

BMW Motorsport
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BMW has confirmed its driver line-ups for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaigns.

In an announcement made at its end-of-year Sports Trophy event on Friday night, BMW firmed up its roster across its factory WEC team and its customer RLL Racing IMSA squad.

Two of the 2018 BMW M8 GTEs will enter the WEC next year, joining a hotly-contested GTE-Pro class that already features Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.

BMW factory drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will share the two cars across the 13-month ‘super season’.

The quartet will be joined by Tom Blomqvist, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng for the 24 Hours of Le Mans

In IMSA, the RLL Racing team will once again field Sims and John Edwards, who will be joined by the incoming Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.

BMW also confirmed on Friday night that Tom Blomqvist would see out the Formula E season with its Andretti-affiliated team, having been benched for Kamui Kobayashi in Hong Kong.