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Korean GP: Ferrari encouraged by long-run pace at Yeongam

Alonso Ferrari KoreaFerrari is confident about its race pace for the Korean Grand Prix after a positive opening day of practice at Yeongam.

Although Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa could not match the single lap pace of Red Bull, its long-run form was encouraging and has left it upbeat about its prospects.

Ferrari sporting director Massimo Rivola said on Friday that the team was feeling pleased with the situation it found itself in - as it bids to defend Fernando Alonso's four-point lead over Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' championship.

"It was a very good day," he said. "The race pace looks pretty strong on the soft tyre, but I think also on the option tyre, the super soft, with the race pace it was OK.

"Obviously the tyre issue in terms of degradation and blistering here can be a problem, but I think that the situation is similar for everybody - and with the soft it looks like we are very, very competitive."

Ferrari has seen Alonso's title advantage get whittled from 40 points to just four points since the Belgian Grand Prix but Rivola is adamant that the team will not revise the way it goes racing.

"The approach doesn't change," he said. "The situation is still the same in terms of trying to get the maximum out of the car.

"We will keep pushing to the maximum level in the factory; and try to bring new bits on the car. Obviously we don't have to over-react and panic.

"Fernando is still leading, so the car is competitive and it is not the quickest as we know.

"I think if we wouldn't have had two crashes that were out of our control the championships would have been different now and we [Alonso] would be almost 40 points in front.

"It would be different, but this kind of thing could also happen to someone else."

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