6 September 2013
Italian Grand Prix: Red Bull seems very strong again, says Alonso
Fernando Alonso: We must get the most out of what we have available and try to have a good qualifying and a good race in front of our home crowd.
Fernando Alonso has said the Scuderia is 'neither very happy nor very disappointed' following practice on Friday at Monza for the team's home race, although he did concede that Red Bull seems 'very strong again'.
Alonso was second quickest this morning in the opening session for the 2013 F1 Italian Grand Prix, just fractionally behind pace setter, Lewis Hamilton.
However, in the afternoon, the Spaniard had to settle for fifth place overall, his best effort a 1 minute 25.330 seconds, which left him behind both Red Bulls and both Lotus'.
“The feeling is the same as any Friday, which means we're neither very happy nor very disappointed with our performance level and we will have to wait and see how qualifying goes before getting a true picture,” Alonso remarked. “Red Bull seems very strong again here and we will have to do a lot of work to be as well prepared as possible for qualifying, in order to find those missing tenths.”
“Although we have yet to analyse the data we have gathered today, some of the updates we brought here for this race seem to be working well, while others will require a bit more evaluation,” he continued. “We must get the most out of what we have available and try to have a good qualifying and a good race in front of our home crowd.”
“Let's hope the weather will also be on our side, as the forecast for Sunday is for storms and that's why we must be ready to deal with whatever the conditions will be,” he added.
Team-mate Felipe Massa meanwhile had a more troubled day and was only 14th in FP1, before improving to post the eighth quickest time in FP2 – despite a gearbox problem at the end of the second session.
“Today we managed to test everything we had on our programme, which related to evaluating various aerodynamic solutions, looking for the ideal level of downforce. Now, our next task is to analyse all the available data to understand how to improve the car for qualifying and the race,” Massa recounted.
“Not everything went perfectly though, especially towards the end of the second session when, as I was coming out of the first chicane, I had a gearbox problem. As I tried to change from first to second, it went straight into third and at that point, I returned to the pits slowly. We don't know exactly what happened, but I don't think it was anything serious,” he continued.
“This won't be an easy weekend,” Massa warned, “because our main rivals have set great lap times on both compounds and in race trim, but we will do all we can to be as competitive as possible”.
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