Alonso: We will struggle this weekend

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Fernando Alonso has said that his performance during Friday practice for this weekend’s Korean Grand Prix was “usual”, with the Spaniard struggling to challenge both Mercedes and Red Bull drivers on the first day of running in Yeongam.

Alonso could only finish P6 in FP1 and FP2 whilst Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber all laid down a scintillating pace at the top of the timesheets. However, the winner of the inaugural race in Korea is still confident that he can continue his run of three straight podium finishes in 2013.

“The impressions are the usual Friday ones and to say more, we will have to wait until tomorrow and see how qualifying goes,” Alonso said. “The timesheet follows the order that continues to be more or less the same seen in previous weekends and there is every probability that, again here, we can expect to struggle in the race.”

Alonso conceded that the pace of the F138 car would probably see Ferrari play catch-up to their rivals once again, but as he showed in Singapore, a good start and a good strategy can often make up for these shortcomings.

“It won’t be easy for us in performance terms, but we know that apart from that, we can do well on Sunday,” he explained. “Now, we must try and get the most out of what we have available and put everything together tomorrow and in the race.”

Ferrari have confirmed that they are running prototype 2014 parts on the car this weekend, suggesting that the team may have thrown in the towel in the pursuit to catch Vettel and Red Bull at the top of both championships.