Fernando Alonso has moved to defend Ferrari's 2012 F1 challenge after suggestions that the F2012 is too slow to fight at the front during the year ahead.

In the two pre-season tests held so far, Ferrari has been unable to match the pace of rivals Red Bull and McLaren having spent most of its time on track trying to gain a better understanding of the new car and how it works.

Having already revealed that the car was a 'complex machine' [See separate story HERE], Alonso has now moved to defend Ferrari's latest design by insisting that it will be quick when it matters.

"There has been a tendency, especially from the media, to say that the car is bad and we are not having a good winter, but they don't understand," he told Marca. "We are very calm because the car is very complex and there's no reason to believe that it won't be quick.

"The thing that is costing all of us is to get back the grip lost at the rear of the car by the blown diffusers ban, but I think it will be recovered soon."

Alonso also added that it was important not to read too much into the results of testing in Spain, with it set to take time before the true pecking order for the year ahead is set.

"At the moment the conclusions are zero - super-zero," he said. "Hopefully we will not be seventh and everything else is guesswork. It is assumed that Red Bull will not be stuck in Q2 and that McLaren and Mercedes will not be far away, but these are only assumptions.

"Testing in Barcelona for us ended better than it started, but it's not as though we were in a tunnel and now we see the light. Our team is working hard and well."