Fernando Alonso admits that luck will play a part in the remainder of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend following Friday practice at Suzuka.
The Ferrari driver, who goes into the weekend as the form man on the grid after back-to-back wins in Italy and Singapore, posted the fourth quickest time during the Friday sessions – albeit nearly nine-tenths of a second behind pacesetter Sebastian Vettel.
Practice came to an end before rain arrived at the circuit and with the prospect of more rain to come on Saturday, the Spaniard admitted that luck would play a part in deciding the make-up for the grid for Sunday's race.
"It is only Friday, so the times today do not really mean much,” he said. “What we must always keep in mind is that the pecking order between the cars can change significantly in terms of which track we are at: you only have to look at McLaren who were very strong in Spa and Monza, but definitely less so in Budapest and Singapore. So I would say it is best to wait until the end of tomorrow before giving a definite judgement on the situation here in Suzuka.
“In theory, Red Bull look unbeatable here, as they always have done, except in Monza and also there were various races where come Sunday, they were beaten, so again that's a reason to wait before drawing any conclusions. Today, we did not put together a perfect lap, so there is some room for improvement. We have to analyse the data to see how to do that, but of course the others will be doing the same. The forecast is for rain tomorrow: if that happens, we must concentrate and avoid making any mistakes, which can cost you a lot in the wet. Then it will be down to luck, as to who finds themselves in the right place at the right time on the right tyre.
“The aim in qualifying is to be in the top five, then we can see how things go in the race.”