Ferrari number one driver Fernando Alonso has admitted he will need a 'perfect race' now in Abu Dhabi if he is to do well and take good points.

The Spaniard was once again out-qualified by his team-mate, Felipe Massa - for the fifth time in the last six races - and he also had the indignity of failing to progress to the top-ten shootout. It is the first time he has failed to make it into Q3 all year, and the last time it happened was at the European GP in 2012.

Looking to the race though, he is hopeful he can fight back, and he is also conscious that the Scuderia need to do just that, to avoid losing ground to Mercedes in the battle for second in the Constructors' Championship - the gap currently is four points.

Related Articles

"This qualifying has been as difficult as the rest of the weekend," said Alonso, "even if in some races, starting eleventh on new tyres can help, so let's hope that's the case here."

"It is without a doubt, however, better to make it through to Q3. But unfortunately I didn't manage to get a very clean lap and I didn't manage to make it by a few tenths," he added.

"This is one of the tracks where we suffer a bit more than usual, but in general our Sunday performance is better and so, again this time, our approach to the race is positive. We must absolutely get a good start, stay focussed and run a perfect race if we want to take points towards our aim of finishing second in the Constructors', because it will be a tough fight," he continued.

"We have seen that in the heat, the Softs work better than the Mediums and so logic dictates we should start on the softer tyre while it's still daytime and switch to Mediums when darkness falls.

"Clearly, we have to see how things go".

Ferrari technical guru, Pat Fry meanwhile said that it is the final sector that is the main issue: "Right from the start of the weekend, we have struggled to be competitive at this track and the outcome of qualifying reflects the hierarchy through the field that we have seen since the start. Even though we worked a lot on improving the balance of both cars, we continued to suffer from a lack of grip, especially in the third sector where our rivals make the difference," he confirmed.

"In the first two sectors, we do not have any particular difficulties and we can maintain split times that are not far off those of the best, but in the final sector the gap gets bigger which has badly affected the overall lap time. When the temperature dropped, we managed to make the tyres work better, which meant the car was more reactive, even if it was not enough to allow our drivers to secure better positions."

"Tomorrow, we will face a very difficult race, in which it will be vital to avoid traffic in the first stint as much as possible and so we are banking on a clean start.

"We will have to do everything perfectly if we want to help our drivers in their quest to bring home as many points as possible," Fry concluded.