Fernando Alonso has given Ferrari an 8 out of 10 for the 2013 season so far.
The Spaniard is trailing Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' championship by 34 points, while Ferrari has admitted it is falling behind in the car development race.
"Now it is vital that we optimise the performance of our car, just as our rivals have managed to do, because we want to get back to fighting for the top places as soon as possible," said team boss Stefano Domenicali.
Nonetheless, in an interview with the German broadcaster RTL, Alonso said he is satisfied with his season so far.
"It has been good," he said, "so I think we can give it an eight (out of ten) -- a good score.
"Clearly we are not the fastest," the 31-year-old admitted, "but our car is very complete, so I would say I am satisfied."
Alonso has won twice but also finished second twice in 2013 so far, and he said trailing home the winner can sometimes be satisfying.
"Sometimes it (finishing second) is a great satisfaction, at other times a big disappointment," he said.
"There are never two results alike, as it depends on the circumstances and who is in first place.
"If your biggest rival is not the winner, it may be a very good result," Alonso added.
Alonso 'fighting Vettel', not just Newey in 2013
A year ago, Fernando Alonso said he was not fighting Sebastian Vettel -- he was fighting Red Bull designer Adrian Newey.
The comments were interpreted as a jibe at F1's reigning world champion, but a year on, the Ferrari driver says he has changed his tune.
"Right now we are fighting against Sebastian," he is quoted by Germany's Auto Bild.
"I said in the second half of the year (2012) that I was not any more fighting against Sebastian or Mark (Webber), but against an aeroplane -- so strong was the Red Bull.
"Maybe some people misunderstood; I was simply trying to say that it's hard to fight against the car that can potentially be first and second in every race.
"This year it's no longer the case. Sebastian is ahead because he does the best job," Ferrari's Alonso added.
But that doesn't mean Alonso, 34 points behind at almost the half-point of 2013, is giving up.
"As long as we are not 50 or 60 points behind, we do not give up," said the Spaniard.
"Sebastian was 44 points behind last year and still won the title in the end. Everything is possible."
Even possible, he insisted, is the image of Vettel in a pair of red overalls in the future -- although some in the paddock can't imagine Alonso actually welcoming the German to Maranello.
"I think we respect each other very much," said Alonso, "and it would also be good for the team, maximising the performance of the car and also the points."
Unpaid suppliers file claims against ailing Sauber
The depths of Sauber's financial problems are now beginning to emerge.
The Swiss business newspaper Handeslzeitung reports that dozens of unpaid suppliers to the struggling Hinwil based team have filed claims, totalling almost EUR 1 million.
The report said the suppliers have waited several months for their invoices to be paid, before lodging the claims against Sauber with the official Swiss debt register Betreibungsregister.
"We are very much in contact with our suppliers," founder Peter Sauber is quoted as saying, "and make every effort to get out of this situation as quickly as possible."
The Swiss daily Tages-Anzeiger said Sauber, who may also owe money to engine supplier Ferrari, needs to fill an additional $30 million hole simply to complete the 2013 season.
It has been reported that Sauber is in talks with a financial saviour from Russia, but the latest rumour is that the possibility of a tie-up with an international Asian carmaker is also on the table.
Negative media coverage 'extremely hurtful' - Sauber
Peter Sauber has admitted the recent media coverage of his formula one team's financial crisis is "extremely" hurtful.
Amid rumours Nico Hulkenberg terminated his contract because he was not paid, team boss Monisha Kaltenborn admitted recently that the Swiss team is in trouble, but said talks with potential sponsors or investors are taking place.
But then it emerged that dozens of unpaid suppliers have filed formal debt claims against Sauber, amounting to about EUR 1 million, and that the team is lacking the many millions it needs even to complete the 2013 season.
69-year-old Peter Sauber, though, is known as perhaps the most honest and straightforward figure in the F1 paddock, running a typically clockwork-like and always-competent team that managed even to survive BMW's shock exit.
"And now I get in the car in the morning and the first news is how many prosecutions I have against me," he told Blick newspaper.
"Yes, it hurts -- extremely. And how the whole thing is being spread among the public, and in those dimensions -- I don't understand," added Sauber.
He gives an example: "Recently, in eastern Switzerland, hundreds of jobs were lost, but it was just a side-note. But we have not laid off a single employee."
Nevertheless, the seriousness of Sauber's predicament is obvious.
And the Hinwil based team's founder even acknowledges it: "I am using all of my energy to rescue the team, and did not need all of this (media) noise."
Also, deep down, Sauber knows that his team's crisis is important news, not only because of the international scope of formula one, but also because the name 'Sauber' is loved not only in Switzerland, but also by millions of fans.
"The solidarity we feel is enormous," admitted Sauber.
Blick, for example, said a private citizen has offered Sauber an interest-free loan to the tune of $500,000.
"That is touching," said Sauber. "But we need a new, big, strong partner. And we're working on it.
"We will remain the national team of Swiss motor sports -- and in formula one."
Agag tips top F1 teams to race in Formula E
Alejandro Agag, the organiser of the new electric open-wheel series, thinks top F1 teams like Ferrari and Red Bull will eventually fight for the Formula E title.
And the Austrian news agency APA said "there are already talks" between Agag and McLaren.
"I'm sure teams like Ferrari and Red Bull will be in Formula E one day," Agag told the German newspaper Die Welt.
It is already known that Williams is supplying the series' lithium batteries, McLaren is developing the electric motors and transmission, former F1 supplier Michelin the tyres, and GP2 partner Dallara the chassis.
And Agag said former F1 and GP2 drivers will be at the wheel, although "I can't say any names yet".
He insisted, however, that the plan is not to replace formula one.
"I'm a big formula one fan," said Agag, "so I hope it never disappears.
"Eventually, we would like to be as big as F1, but our focus is different."
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