Fernando Alonso admitted that Ferrari are continuing to struggle after finishing the opening day of practice eighth fastest ahead of Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Spaniard, who has not been on the podium since the Singapore Grand Prix, endured another difficult day. Speaking to the media afterwards, including Crash.net, Alonso admitted that the team need to find a set-up cure overnight otherwise another race scrambling for points will be the best that he can hope for.

"Hopefully there is more in the car," said the double F1 world champion. "We are obviously in a position that is not normal for us and we are struggling a little bit more this weekend. Fighting for Q3 is not what we should have at Ferrari.

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"Hopefully we can find something in the setup tomorrow but we have to be honest and know that it will be a tough weekend here."

Alonso has done a masterful job over the last three years of dragging every ounce from his car on race day and if Ferrari is to have any chance of overhauling Mercedes in the Constructors' Championship they will need Alonso to once again get the maximum from the car during Sunday's 55 lap race.

Ferrari currently trails Mercedes by four points and for Alonso the fight for second in the standings is clearly his target.

"We have been in second position for most of the season. We had some good races from me but now that Mercedes are improving and have the consistency that they lacked early in the season we are dropping some points but we will fight very hard," he added. "We want the second position and we start from tomorrow to get that."

by Stephen English at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi