Fernando Alonso has praised the progress made by Ferrari with its new F150th Italia after completing the second pre-season F1 test of the year at Jerez.
Alonso ended the final day with the third quickest time behind Rubens Barrichello and Kamui Kobayashi, but was able to complete well over 100 laps in a series of long runs as the amount of mileage completed by the new car exceeded the 3,000km mark.
The Spaniard insisted that the reliability shown by the car at both Valencia and Jerez was the most pleasing aspect of the testing completed thus far although he was quick to point out once again that too much focus shouldn't be given to the times set.
“The best thing about these first two test sessions is definitely the reliability,” he said. “Both myself and Felipe have been able to always do at least one hundred laps a day, which is very positive. Our aim in these tests is to make the car as tough as possible and then, when we get to Bahrain, introduce some developments aimed at performance.
“As I often said recently, there is no point in looking at the time sheets, but it would be very surprising if any teams other than Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes are fighting for the wins. Red Bull ended last year with an advantage of around half a second over the others and it would be strange if they were not the strongest in Bahrain.”
Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa spent much of the Jerez test working on the new Pirelli tyres and the double champion admitted there was still work to do to get used to the tyres before the season opener.
“It is the biggest change of the year and there is still a lot of work to do to adapt the car set-up and driving style to these tyres,” he said. “From what we have seen so far, we will need to run different strategies with more pit stops. We managed to do around forty laps, not all at one go, on the same set of tyres, but we know that in the much higher temperatures of Bahrain, the situation will be very different.”
To view times from day four in Jerez, click HERE