Ferrari pair Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa said they weren't drawing any conclusions from the first day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix after the Scuderia
elected to use the Friday's running to focus on race preparations.
Both drivers ran heavy on fuel during practice and were down the order as a result, with Alonso finishing up with the eighth quickest time from the two sessions.
The time came late in the second session but with Ferrari having adopted a different programme to its rivals, Alonso said he wasn't paying too much attention to the lap times.
“It's pointless to look for any significance in Friday's classification: I'm seventh [in FP2], but I could just as well have been second or last and it would not have changed anything,” he said. “It all depends on the difference between the programmes adopted by the teams.
“From our side, we are reasonably happy with what we have done and first impressions would be that there is no reason to expect a very different picture to the one we saw in Bahrain and Australia, partly because, in the space of four days, nothing much is likely to have changed.
“As before, I expect Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes to be very competitive and we will have to do our best. It will not be easy, but there is no reason to be pessimistic. The temperatures of the engine, brakes, tyres and last but not least, the drivers, will be an important factor, which we will have to keep under control.”
Massa was 15th quickest in FP2 and 16th overall but, like Alonso, said he wasn't concerned about the times set during the day.
“As usual, it's difficult to draw any hurried conclusions after these three hours of free practice,” he said. “We ran a different programme to the other main teams, therefore we can't tell where we are compared with them. What is clear is that Red Bull and McLaren seem to be going very well: let's wait and see what we can do in qualifying and especially in the race.
“We tried to find a good set-up and to understand the behaviour of the tyres. The car handles reasonably well. We just need to work a bit more to improve our outright performance, but we don't have problems in any particular area. Once again, this time on a track with a variety of very quick corners, I've got a good feeling from the F10.”