Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso believes the team must make steady progress while keeping focus on reliability if it is to have a chance at taking the fight to early-season pace-setters Mercedes in the 2014 Formula 1 season.

Speaking to Ferrari’s website, the Spaniard said that the team knows which areas they need to work on most and not overplay in trying to close the gap to the Silver Arrows.

“We know our strong points and the areas we must focus on to improve, but we must not overreact in trying to close the performance gap. At the moment we must make steady progress while still keeping an eye on reliability, which has brought us a good points haul in the first couple of races, which is very important,” he said.

Alonso says the change to night racing at Sakhir after a couple of daytime races presented its own challenges, even if it wasn’t different to the other similarly-timed races at Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

“After many daytime races, it was really strange to be running here in the dark even if it was not very different to the other night time races, so we just have to get used to it.”

On both sessions he said: “From this aspect, today was very useful, especially FP2, to learn about the behaviour of the tyres and the car. Even if we did a lot of running here in winter testing, now it’s like starting from scratch and one has to adapt to the new indications coming from the differing track conditions.”

Alonso finished third-quickest in both practice sessions behind the two Mercedes’ of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Image via XPB Images

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Michael Terminello

Journalist at MotorsportM8