Two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso has predicted that he should be able to fight for a podium finish on Sunday in front of his home fans at the European Grand Prix.

Alonso qualified fourth on the grid today in Valencia, his best lap a 1 minute 38.075 seconds, which left him a tenth off McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in third, and about half a second off Sebastian Vettel, who took pole position.

Despite still being quite a bit off the Red Bull's though, the Spaniard was still pleased and he pointed out that without the updates the Scuderia introduced for this event, they would probably have not got into the top-ten shoot-out.

"I am happy with this result," Alonso reflected. "Here, so many teams, including Ferrari, have brought new parts and so it was important to show we are capable of fighting for the top places. We managed it and we must bear in mind that, without the updates we have on the F10, we would probably have struggled to make it into Q3.

"Tomorrow, we have the potential to fight for a podium place: it will be important to get a good start, choose the right strategy and not make any mistakes because the walls here are not forgiving.

"Obviously, reliability will be very important as this track is very tough on the cars. With the harder tyre, our car was more competitive as its behaviour inspired more confidence over the flying lap, but to have done Q3 with this compound would probably have compromised our race."

Team-mate Felipe Massa meanwhile will line-up one spot lower on the grid in fifth and he too is convinced that a rostrum result is a possibility.

"Today, we had a good car and the potential was there to do better than this fifth place. In Q1 and Q2, I was very pleased with the handling of my F10, but in Q3 I was not able to improve, mainly because of traffic that prevented me from preparing the tyres properly. It's a shame, because I could have been starting from third place tomorrow: from fifth it will be harder to fight for a podium finish, but the chance is still there within our grasp," he stated.

"The updates the team has brought here contributed to making the car more competitive and they lived up to our expectations: we must continue down this route for the rest of the season."

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali added: "We are reasonably pleased with this result. The car proved to be competitive and everything was in place to secure an even better result but, for various reasons, we never managed to put together the perfect lap with either of our two drivers. All the same, we know that as always, the points are only given out tomorrow.

"We can expect a long and difficult race for the drivers the teams and the cars and, as I usually say on Saturdays, reliability will be the key. The technical updates we introduced this weekend have seen us take a step forward in terms of performance, but we must continue to push on the development front, because the other teams are doing the same."