"Fifth place is more or less what we were expecting," agreed Fernando Alonso
himself. "The team and I are optimistic for tomorrow as our race pace is good and usually we manage to go better on Sunday. We start from the clean side and hope that will allow us to get off the line well, because what we need here is to make up some places at the start."
Alonso said that the team had not been surprised by the pace of the Mercedes duo who locked out the front row.
"We are not too scared of Mercedes, who usually have higher tyre degradation," he said. "We will also have to defend against Raikkonen: so far he has gone very well in the races and the Lotus doesn't seem to suffer too much on the tyre front."
"I'm not surprised at the pace of the Mercedes," agreed Massa. "They were already strong here in winter testing and their car is always very competitive in qualifying.
"This [qualifying] result shows once again that, on Saturdays, our rivals prefer to take a more conservative approach in the morning before revealing their true potential in the afternoon," he continued. "Now we must concentrate on tomorrow's race, because it will be a long one and anything can happen.
"All the same, I feel very confident because our car seems competitive," Massa added.