Fernando Alonso has poured cool water on the high hopes of his adoring fans that he can repeat the podium finish he claimed last time out in China, as he prepares for his home Spanish Grand Prix.
The Spaniard, a hugely popular race winner for Ferrari around the Circuit de Catalunya last season, enjoyed a substantial upturn in form in China three weeks' ago when he finished third behind the all-conquering Mercedes.
Suggesting a step in the right direction for the Italian team, Alonso is nonetheless coy on his chances in Spain, refusing to predict a podium for himself so as not to raise expectations of his fans.
“No, I don't think so,” when asked whether he thinks a podium is possible. “We cannot start the weekend thinking to be on the podium. Or thinking to win the race. That will be creating… y'know, false targets to everyone who will come here.
“We finished ninth and tenth in Bahrain, we did podium in China because we had some things putting together on that Sunday but it's not that we are in a position now to say we will fight for the podium here. We will do our best but we know it is going to be a tough weekend and it's not going to be easy.
“But, you never know, this is sport and anything can happen but today, sitting here, if I tell you that I will fight for the podium, probably I will lie to you and I don't want to do so for all the people coming.”