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Motorsport | Formula 1

Ferrari struggle again



Ferrari's early season woes deepened on Friday after two poor practice sessions again left Fernando Alonso admitting that his much-maligned car was well short of challenging at the Chinese Grand Prix.

The two-time world champion might be top of the drivers' standings courtesy of the rain-blighted race in Malaysia, the second grand prix of the year, where he steered his Ferrari to victory, but he is under no illusions.

The Spaniard was a disappointing 11th fastest in the first practice in Shanghai and only 10th in the second. His teammate Felipe Massa found it even harder going and was 17th quickest in the afternoon.

"We definitely lack a bit of performance: we will try and find it for tomorrow, as well as trying to sort out the balance of the car, especially in terms of its grip," said Alonso.

"There's a lot to do if we want to have a good qualifying."

Massa, whose place at Ferrari -- one of the most famous names in motor racing -- is said to be under threat for next season, was equally dispirited.

"You definitely couldn't define today as being fantastic," said the Brazilian.

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