Alonso admits catching Mercedes is 'impossible'
22 June 2014 – Fernando Alonso has written off Ferrari's chances of closing the gap to leaders Mercedes in 2014 after he raced to fifth place at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Alonso started the race from fourth position but was quickly overhauled by Mercedes's Lewis Hamilton before setting about completing "71 qualifying laps" on his way to fifth, 25 seconds behind race winner Nico Rosberg.
"To close the gap to Mercedes [is] impossible," said the Spaniard.
"It's too much difference. We cannot touch the engine, we cannot do big changes and they are over 200 points ahead of us in the Constructors' Championship."
Alonso said that the power difference between his Ferrari and the Mercedes engines in the cars of Hamilton and Felipe Massa was 'unbelievable.'
"They seemed to use the maximum power for only a few laps in the race and they have such an advantage that they can play with it a little bit," he lamented.
"When I was with Massa at the end and close, he pulled away. It was the same when I was with Hamilton on the first lap, it was unbelievable the difference between the two cars. If they run with those settings they will probably lap everyone but they cannot do it for the whole race."
Alonso is nonetheless hopeful that Ferrari can close the gap to Mercedes for next season.
"In one year many things can happen," he said.
"We saw some cases in the past that from one year to another many things can change, especially this year when we are very new with the regulations.
"I expect in 2015 there will be big steps from everybody, including Mercedes, so we will all be better next year.
"Definitely the teams that started with lower baselines have more margin to improve and will get closer to the level of Mercedes. I hope in time, because it is not a job you can do in one day, [we can] be at that level."