Fernando Alonso praises 'fantastic' Mercedes Formula 1 team

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso has praised the job done by Mercedes in the first three races of the 2014 Formula 1 season, describing the team as "fantastic"

Fernando Alonso praises 'fantastic' Mercedes Formula 1 team

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have dominated the year's opening three grands prix, while Alonso's Ferrari team has struggled for speed.

The Spaniard finished a distant ninth in last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, while Hamilton and Rosberg pulled away at a rate of two seconds per lap in the closing stages as they battled for victory.

GP analysis: Hamilton wins Rosberg's race

Alonso's Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen described racing the Mercedes-engined cars as like being in "a different class" in Bahrain, and Alonso conceded the German manufacturer has simply done a better job with the new regulations than its rivals.

"Mercedes has been fantastic. They are doing a better job than anyone else and Nico and Lewis are driving fantastic, doing zero mistakes," Alonso said.

"We have had some difficult conditions with rain in qualifying, but they are doing zero mistakes, fighting but clean.

"At the moment it's not possible to catch them in this first part of the championship, but we saw Brawn GP dominate in the first part of the championship [in 2009] and they struggled a bit at the end of the year."

The double world champion insisted Ferrari was still capable of recovering, despite its poor start to the year.

"We have everything in our hands, it's up to us to do better than we are doing now," said Alonso.

After three races, Ferrari is fifth in the constructors' championship, 78 points behind table-topping Mercedes.

Alonso is fourth in the drivers' standings, trailing leader Rosberg by 35 points.

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