YEONGAM, South Korea, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso criticised Pirelli’s Formula One tyres on Saturday, saying they could not even last a fast lap of the Korean Grand Prix in qualifying without their performance dropping off.
The Spaniard, who is second in the championship but 60 points behind Red Bull’s triple champion Sebastian Vettel, qualified only fifth for Sunday’s grand prix while his German rival will line up on pole position for the third race in a row.
Alonso recognised that his car was way off the pace and accepted that the tyres were the same for everybody but he still condemned their lack of durability.
“The tyres cannot do five kilometres. If you push them, you finish the tyres. It’s something that is not normal,” he told reporters.
“We have to be honest and the quality of the tyres is very on the limit,” added the double world champion.
“But I‘m not blaming the tyres. That they are not good we all see with our eyes. It’s the same tyres for everybody...so it’s a compromise we need to find.”
Ferrari are second in the championship and Alonso said he and Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa could be proud to be ahead of their rivals given the pace of the car.
“We are the third or fourth fastest team. It’s what we’ve been in the last four years and I managed to fight for the drivers’ world championship and we put Ferrari in second position in last year’s championship,” he said.
“We are now in second position and Felipe and me will try and do our best to keep it....in a way (we can be) very proud of our personal performance.”
Five races remain after South Korea, with Vettel likely to wrap up his fourth successive title long before the season-ender in Brazil next month.
The German has won the last three races and seven of the 13 to date. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Amlan Chakraborty)