Alonso targets podium after improved qualifying

By on Saturday, July 27, 2013
Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

An upbeat Fernando Alonso reckons he can challenge for the podium places in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Alonso set the fifth fastest time in Hungary and was pleased after difficult Saturdays in Britain and Germany.

"This fifth place is good news after a couple of difficult weekends in Silverstone and the Nürburgring and especially after seeing things improve compared to yesterday, when our race pace left us with even more doubts," he said.

"Today, we were more competitive thanks to a change of set-up and some modifications on the aero side, done more with the aim of getting consistency rather than pure performance. Traction and turn-in have improved and now we must look carefully at the start to try and make up a few places then and, on this front, the extra grip from being on the clean side should help."

"Here, it is hard to overtake in the race and so it’s even more important to try and make up ground immediately, particularly if we want to prevent [Sebastian] Vettel from increasing his lead. The strategy will be very open, the tyres are new for everyone and the high track temperature means we need to think of a strategy that can be modified at any moment. The podium is always our target and I feel we can fight for it, even though we know it won’t be easy with such strong competition ahead of us."

Team-mate Felipe Massa was seventh and believes both drivers achieved the maximum result possible.

"Today’s qualifying was extremely complicated and the result does not live up to our expectations: both myself and Fernando pushed to the maximum without making mistakes, but we were not able to fight for the front positions and got the maximum we could," he said.

"We are well aware of the fact that Saturday is still our weak point and for that reason, we must stay focused on a race that will not be easy, because the high temperatures will impact on tyre behaviour, on the car and on us drivers. Overtaking is almost impossible here, unless the car ahead of you makes a mistake, but I hope I have a good enough race pace to make up some places and bring home the important points that we need."

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