Alonso says Renault must improve fast

Fernando Alonso says his Renault team must make a significant amount of improvement quickly if it is to stand a chance of fighting for the titles

Alonso says Renault must improve fast

The French squad has endured a shaky start to the season and hasn't shown anything like the kind of pace needed to fight for victories yet.

Alonso finished in fifth place at the incident-filled Australian Grand Prix and will start tomorrow's race in Malaysia from a distant ninth position.

The Spaniard admitted he was expecting better from the Sepang weekend, but the team now realised it would not be competitive early on.

The two-time champion has warned Renault must make progress quickly or risk losing touch with the championship leaders.

"It (the starting position) is a bit better than what we did. We had been 10th, very, very on the limit. We were expecting more," Alonso told reporters after qualifying. "We were expecting to be in the top five or top seven in Q2 and the same in Q3 and it wasn't possible.

"We knew from yesterday that we were not very competitive. This morning we confirmed that feeling unfortunately, so we went into qualifying with some doubts about our performance and we saw Nelsinho going out in Q1 so we were not very happy with our performance today.

"If we want to fight for the championship we need to be more at the front. We need to improve our pace almost from the next grand prix."

Alonso conceded the race is likely to be difficult for him, but was still hopeful that, like in Australia, something could happen to help him move forward.

"You never know. Races are always difficult," he added. "We saw in Australia that after the first corner I was last and then I finished fifth. You never know what's going to happen in the race. You can never give up, but it's true we are starting ninth. All the cars in front of us are quicker than us.

"Some cars behind us, like Vettel, are quicker than us. So it's difficult to hope for something better than ninth if you see how quick the guys in front of us are. But the race is very long, very different, the start will be interesting if we can gain some places with the KERS. We'll see after that."

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