Ferrari number one driver Fernando Alonso has described the opening day of practice for the European Grand Prix as 'positive'.
Although he only finished up seventh overall, the Spaniard managed 60 laps in total, as the Scuderia continue to evaluate new parts in a bid to further improve the competitiveness of the F2012.
“Overall, it's been a positive day,” Alonso confirmed. “We tried various updates: some worked well, others need some modifying and then they might be used at Silverstone.
“Naturally, we also worked a lot on the tyres, which seem to degrade quite significantly here. On this topic, we have to take into account that conditions can change rapidly according to the cloud cover. With the sky completely clear, the track temperature can easily go up by four or five degrees and change the behaviour of the tyres.
“Now we need to analyse carefully all the data that Felipe [Massa – my team-mate] and I have gathered and then put together the best combination of set-up and technical solutions for qualifying and the race.
“This year, pole position seems to be less important than in the past and I think that is the case even on a track like this: it is always important to be first away, obviously, but it doesn't mean that if you start further back you have no chance of winning.”
Team-mate Felipe Massa was similarly upbeat, even if his best time did leave him down in 15th overall, a position he said wasn't a true reflection of his pace.
“We did a huge amount of work on development of the updates we brought here and now, with the data in our hands, we will try and choose those things that can give us an improvement in performance terms already right from this weekend,” he added.
“This morning I worked mainly on a series of aerodynamic comparisons, so I definitely did not use the tyres or the car in the best way possible. The afternoon went much better, when I was pleased with the balance and the car's handling out on track. It's a shame I made a mistake on my first timed lap on the Soft tyres, right at the start of the lap: my time, also taking into account I was one of the first to switch to the Option, could definitely have been better and I could have ended up significantly higher on the final time sheet, for what that's worth on a Friday afternoon.
“There is still much work to be done, because I expect we will see some cars going very quickly tomorrow, but also over a distance, the situation is not too bad: there's a bit of a performance drop from the tyres, but all in all, the times were good,” he concluded.