Fernando Alonso insists that Ferrari has made progress during practice for the Turkish Grand Prix, despite the Spaniard ending Friday's running off the pace in eleventh place.
The Spaniard had earlier led the way during the wet opening session of the weekend but then suffered a hydraulic issue in the second session which restricted his time on track.
A spin while trying out the Drag Reduction System didn't help matters and meant Alonso ended the day outside the top ten, although he said there was progress being made by the team as it introduces a raft of upgrades for the Turkish weekend.
“These two sessions were very different one to the other, because of the change in the weather,” he said. “It was useful to do some running in the wet because there is a chance that it might rain again at some point tomorrow. We tried various new solutions and now we have to evaluate them carefully to see what worked and what did not.
“I had a hydraulic problem which cost me some time in the pits at the start of the second session. That contributed to the fact it's difficult for me to give a precise evaluation of tyre behaviour. Then, I also had a spin, when I was being too optimistic in my use of the moveable rear wing. For sure this track puts a heavy load on the tyres: it will be interesting to see what happens in the race.
“I think we have made progress, but there are various teams that are quicker than us. We have to try and do our best, putting together the best package made up of new components and those we have used before to try and get all the potential out of the car.”
Team-mate Felipe Massa agreed that he felt progress had been made during the Friday sessions, even a gap still exists to the front-runners.
“From what I could see, we have made a step forward in terms of performance, but we are not yet close enough to the best," he said. "It is always difficult to say how much progress one has made after just two free practice sessions: we will have to wait for qualifying to get a clearer picture. We are working very hard to catch up and I think we are on the right road, but the others are definitely not standing still. For example, Mercedes seems to have made a significant step forward here.
"Would I prefer a wet race? Sure, if it turns out we are not competitive then the rain would open up more possibilities, but it could also go well in the dry and it does seem as though the weather is improving. This is a very demanding circuit, but I really like driving here because there are so many different types of corner.”