Fernando Alonso has refused to rule out the possibility of running towards the front during the Australian Grand Prix this weekend despite the problems that have affected Ferrari through pre-season testing.
The radical new F2012 was off the pace of its rivals during the three sessions, with technical director Pat Fry moving to play down the chances of Ferrari fighting for the podium and Alonso himself stating that the team 'had to improve a lot' [See separate story HERE
Despite that however, Alonso said he wasn't rule out being towards the front of the field when the action gets underway in Australia on Friday morning given the differing programmes employed during pre-season testing.
The Spaniard also added that a 'good start' was his aim as he attempts to launch a successful title challenge.
"We want to be world champion at the end, that's the ultimate target, and in Melbourne we need to make a good start," the Spaniard was quoted by Reuters
. "We will find out how competitive we are on Saturday.
“The races are the truth. In winter testing, we see some teams that are quite quick and then when we arrive at the race they are not quick any more. In 2010, in the last test in Barcelona we were fifth with quite a low fuel load and then we arrived in Bahrain and we were 1-2. The race is always quite different."
Alonso added that he was still confident for the season ahead despite the testing performance and said he had complete trust in Ferrari to get things right.
"I'm confident, I'm very relaxed about the possibilities of our car," he said. "The winter has been very tough for us with so many tests to do. It's quite a complex car in terms of set-up and understanding the car. Maybe we didn't reach targets that were very optimistic but that doesn't mean we are slower than the other cars.
"I believe in the team, I trust the team completely. It is like the Tour de France and this is the first stage, we'll see how we can do here in Melbourne but it will be a long championship and Ferrari will always be there."