Fernando Alonso: 'Ferrari are closing in on Red Bull'

Fernando Alonso smiles as he prepares for the final qualifying session of the Belgium Grand Prix on August 24, 2013
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Fernando Alonso believes that while Mercedes are out of reach, Ferrari can close the gap on Red Bull at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso has claimed that Ferrari are not too far away from Red Bull, after setting the quickest initial practice lap for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Alonso, who finished ninth in Bahrain two weeks ago, admits that his team are still a way behind Mercedes, who claimed pole position earlier.

The improvements this weekend have given the Spaniard cause for optimism.

"Mercedes is out of reach in dry conditions," Alonso told reporters. "But I don't think Red Bull is too far away.

"Mercedes have been very strong in dry conditions, so if we can get good pace in the race, be close to Red Bull and even fight with them, it would be good news.

"Yesterday the car was a little bit more competitive than what we had in the first two races. Hopefully we can be closer, not 30 seconds behind like Bahrain."

The Chinese Grand Prix gets underway at 8am tomorrow.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes celebrates after qualifying in pole position for the F1 Chinese Grand Prix on April 19, 2014
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