Date: 26th March 2011 at 8:49am
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The pre-season predictions all had Ferrari competing with Red Bull for the race win in Australia this weekend.

But on Saturday it just didn’t happen for the Maranello team, with both Red Bull’s and both McLaren’s out qualifying Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

‘We were not super-competitive today,’ Fernando Alonso admitted to the BBC after qualifying fifth.

Not only was Alonso only good enough for fifth, alarmingly he was 1.455 seconds behind Vettel’s pole position time.

But despite the lack of performance Alonso believes he will recover in time for the race on Sunday.

‘We knew if we took a big risk we may be fourth, if we are safe, we go fifth or sixth, so no need to take risks in the first qualifying of the season.

‘Position we are happy, distance from pole we are not happy, so we need to look at that overnight. Overall grip was where we lacked. We were not so bad yesterday, so we missed something today. I suspect this was not normal pace from us and we will get better and better tomorrow.’


Alonso’s team-mate Felipe Massa had a torrid time, he scraped himself through to the final qualifying session, to embarrassingly go on to spin just yards from the pit lane exit on the first corner after clipping the curb.

He went on to finish eighth a clear two seconds slower than Vettel and 0.625 seconds behind Alonso, not exactly the start to the season the Brazilian wanted with reports that his seat with Ferrari is at risk for next season, despite being contracted until the end of 2012.

It may only be the first race of the season but the pressure is already mounting.

 

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