Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso was feeling positive following practice for the F1 2013 Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday.
The Spaniard won the last time out at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya and was at the top of the times in both FP1 and FP2. Indeed in the opening session he was only 0.087 seconds off pace setter, Nico Rosberg, and while he slipped back in FP2, he still ended proceedings third overall, his best lap a 1m 15.196s.
“It's always nice driving at Monaco, even if it's very demanding, because here more than anywhere, you need to do a lot of running to adapt to the track and, in more general terms, get used to a very special race,” he remarked. “I am pleased that we managed to get through all our planned programme today, which can't always be taken for granted here as anything can happen!”
Despite his positivity though, Alonso remained cautious: “Even if the feelings are positive and we got through the day without any problems whatsoever, we still don't have a clear idea of the pecking order in the field,” he warned. “We will have to wait a bit to see where all our rivals really are, because here too, until Saturday, no one pushes a hundred percent: the barriers constitute too high a threat to take risks in the first free practice sessions.”
Meanwhile, Felipe Massa also had a good opening day in the sister car and the Brazilian was fourth fastest in both sessions, finishing up just 0.082 seconds slower than Alonso.
“The weekend has got off on the right foot, the car behaved well and I managed to find a good pace,” Massa stated. “I finished in the top five in both sessions, which is important in such an unpredictable event as the Monaco Grand Prix.”
“Now we will analyse all the data available to try and find the right direction to go in, because here it's vital to have a car that is both competitive in qualifying and performs consistently in the race. Mercedes has shown that it is quicker and it will not be easy to get ahead of them in qualifying, but I am sure we have what's needed to take the fight to them,” he concluded.