Fernando Alonso is confident about Ferrari’s prospects ahead of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
Alonso qualified only fifth in Melbourne but believes a front row start is possible for Sunday’s race.
“Today, the car worked well in all conditions and that is very good news for us,” said Alonso. “This circuit is more representative than Australia for evaluating the car’s performance and so it was important to understand here today if the positive feelings from the winter were not just an illusion.”
“On my lap on the Medium tyres, I did not have the right balance, otherwise I could have managed to improve, as I did on the Hards and I could probably have been on the “front row.” Now we must see how tomorrow goes, when it could rain at any moment and on a track where tyre degradation is much higher than in Melbourne. With a high number of pit stops likely, a car that works better in the race than in qualifying could be an advantage. However, tomorrow we will try and do our best to get a place on the front row, because, as usual, the start, strategy and pit stops will hold the key.”
Felipe Massa, who finished fourth last weekend, says he is confident about Ferrari’s pace on Pirelli’s tyres.
“Overall, it was a good day, even if the rain that arrived for the end of the second session cost us some valuable time, when it came to comparing the two compounds over a long run,” he said.
“The car responded well in both sessions and, as for the tyres Pirelli brought here, I felt much more comfortable on the Mediums that we’d already used in Australia. We now have a long evening to work on understanding what the real behaviour of the tyres is, because that is definitely what can make the difference and could make us more competitive, as we prepare for both qualifying and the race.”