Two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso has set his sights on notching up a rostrum finish after qualifying third in his Ferrari today for the F1 2010 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Alonso secured third on the grid after the top-ten shoot-out, just behind the dominant Red Bull's of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, and while he was eight tenths slower in his F10, the Spaniard was still pleased to head the chasing pack and be 'best of the rest'.
He now wants to try and keep them under as much pressure as possible on Sunday and then score as many points as he can to improve his championship chances.
"We knew that at this type of circuit, the Red Bulls would be out of reach, but we managed to get ahead of the rest of the pack. We are aware we still need to up our performance level but it was important to get a positive indication and I think that, thanks to all the work we have done in the past weeks on the development of the car, we have managed to do that," Alonso reflected.
"On my final run, I had traffic in sector three - I think it might have been Michael [Schumacher] – but even with a clear track ahead of me, I definitely would not have improved my grid position. Up until now, the weekend has gone well but now we must tackle the part that counts, the race: we must try and finish on the podium, because we need to score a lot of points.
"In terms of pace, we have proved to be competitive and we must try and at least put the Red Bulls under some pressure to ensure they don't have an easy time of getting the win."
Team-mate Felipe Massa meanwhile will start seventh in the sister car and while he reckoned he could have done better, he is still confident for the race.
"I am pleased with the performance of my car which was competitive today. Unfortunately, I always struggled a lot in terms of getting grip from the tyres on the first lap on a new set, as was especially obvious in Q3. I would say that here we saw the same situation that arose in Melbourne and to a greater extent in Barcelona. A shame, as I could have got a better result," Massa stated.
"I remain very confident for the race though: yesterday, when we had a heavy fuel load on board, we managed to maintain a good pace and I hope that tomorrow, it will be even better. I plan to make up some places compared to my grid position, although I am aware it will not be easy."
Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali added: "We can be reasonably satisfied with today's outcome. Fernando had a great qualifying, getting all the potential out of the car. A shame for Felipe, who could have finished higher, although his chances of having a good race are still intact. Looking to tomorrow, clearly our aim is to get a podium finish."
"We start behind what looks like the untouchable Red Bulls, but several times this year we have seen our car prove to be more competitive in the race than in qualifying. It will be important to get a good start and, as usual in fact, reliability remains the key factor. Usually in qualifying, you see all the potential in terms of performance and for us it is encouraging to see that on a track whose characteristics definitely do not favour our car, the extensive work of the past few weeks is reaping its rewards: now we must transform that into results," he concluded.