Bahrain testing: struggling Ferrari suffer another setback

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso

Ferrari's attempts to improve their faltering form suffered a setback when they had to abandon running early at this week's Bahrain test.

Fernando Alonso managed to complete only 12 laps on day two on Wednesday before the team discovered the chassis was damaged.

Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen finished ninth and 10th in Sunday's race.

The team hoped to carry out a series of set-up evaluations based on information from the first day on Tuesday.

Bahrain Grand Prix highlights

Ferrari have struggled for pace at the start of the season. Their new turbo hybrid engine lacks power compared to the rival Mercedes and the car is struggling with poor traction, which is exacerbated by a lack of driveability from the power-unit.

Alonso currently lies fourth in the drivers' championship, just one point behind Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, after two fourth places in the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix. Raikkonen has scored seven points and is 12th overall.

In the constructors' championship, Ferrari are fifth, 78 points behind leaders Mercedes, who have dominated the start of the season.

The car that Alonso was using in the latest test was raced by Raikkonen in Bahrain last weekend.

Ferrari believe it was damaged when Raikkonen collided with the kerb on the exit of Turn Four during first practice on Friday.

"This damage became only apparent this morning and we stopped running on a precautionary basis in order to fix the chassis," said a spokesman.

Despite the disappointing start to the campaign, both Alonso and Raikkonen insisted after the race in Bahrain they had confidence that Ferrari could improve.

"We have the resources, we have the potential, everything in our hands," said Alonso. "We believe we can do better than we are doing now."

Raikkonen added: "We have some new parts coming and hopefully we improve. We know what we have to do.

"The people are pushing 100%, but it takes time. We are not stupid people, we have good things going on."