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Alonso cautious despite ‘positive’ first day

14 March 2014

Fernando Alonso says he remains unclear as to how competitive Ferrari are ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, despite an encouraging start to his weekend during Friday free practice.

Alonso had the honour of being the first driver on track in an official 2014 F1 practice session when FP1 got underway, the Spaniard going on to set the fastest lap time too.

He was quick during the FP2 session too and while Alonso would drop almost half a second behind the pace-setting Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, his 1min 30.132secs lap was still good enough to end the day third quickest.

“On the first Friday of the season, there's always a bit more tension. It's the start of a new championship and there is the feeling of general expectation to see how things we worked on during the winter are functioning.

“Overall, this was a positive day for us and even if there was an element of nervousness because of the complexity introduced by the new technical regulations, everything went well.

“The team did a super job and we had no problems. The track improved from the first session to the second, with more grip compared to the morning and there was also more wind.”

Despite the positive beginning to his weekend, Alonso remains coy about how competitive his Ferrari is compared with its rivals, insisting Friday practice means little.

“Running the soft tyre certainly helped, as the extra grip meant the times came down, but it's impossible to have a clear idea of how competitive we are, because as usual, Friday results don't mean much. To know more, we must wait until everyone is running in the same trim.”


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