Fernando Alonso said he wasn't happy with the first day of running for the F1 season finale in Brazil, despite posting the fourth quickest time for Ferrari.
The Spaniard goes into the weekend trying to clinch second in the championship standings, with McLaren's Jenson Button ten points clear ahead of the season finale.
Although he ended the day just two-tenths of a second off the fastest time set by Lewis Hamilton, Alonso endured his fair share of problems which included an engine failure in the closing stages of FP1, which resulted in the team being forced into a change between sessions.
With the balance of his car also not to his liking, Alonso said he felt Ferrari wasn't as competitive as usual and added that rain on race day would be his best chance of taking a strong result from the final race of the year.
"It was not an easy day, because we have still not managed to find the right balance on the car,” he said. “Therefore, we must wait and see if and by how much we manage to improve its handling and therefore, how competitive we can be in tomorrow afternoon's qualifying session. In particular, I am not happy with the rear end of the car.
“The engine? These things happen and it did not cost me much time, less than I lost on Friday in India. We will have to wait for the engine to arrive in Maranello, where it will be opened up and the engineers will be able to get a better idea of what the nature of the problem was. This won't cause any problems for qualifying and the race, when we will fit another one.
“Honestly, at least looking at what we saw today, I think that in the dry we are a bit less competitive than usual: I don't think I can fight with the Red Bulls and McLarens and, on top of that, one of the Mercedes is very quick. However, there's a very high chance of rain, so anything could happen. If I could choose today, I would opt for a wet race because, in normal conditions, we can only expect a fifth place in qualifying and to fight for a podium place in the race."