22 May 2014
Monaco F1 Grand Prix: Alonso 'more or less' completes programme
Fernando Alonso on the pace for Ferrari in Thursday practice for the Monaco GP, says he completed his job list and that he is in 'no doubt' the supersoft will be the tyre for qualifying
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso has said he 'more or less' managed to complete his programme on Thursday during practice for this Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.
Alonso was on the pace in both sessions, setting the fourth best time in the morning – and splitting the Red Bulls – while he was quickest in the abridged and less representative FP2, which was mostly wet.
In total the Spaniard did 31 laps in FP1 and 15 in FP2, his quickest effort a 1m 18.482s, which left him 0.211 seconds off the best time of the day posted by Mercedes man and current championship leader, Lewis Hamilton.
"Here in Monaco, the most important thing in practice is to do as many laps as possible," said the two-time F1 World Champion, "because it is a very special track and you need to have a good feeling from the car."
"Despite the rain reducing the amount of track time in the second session, we more or less managed to complete all our programme and, with or without a turbo, the complexity of this track remains the same, so doing well in qualifying will be crucial," he continued.
“The increase in grip we found over the few laps we did with the Supersoft tyres leaves us in no doubt that this will be the tyre to use on Saturday afternoon, while for the race there is still a lot to learn as no one has done a long run. So we might have to improvise when it comes to [race] strategy.”
Ferrari technical director Pat Fry meanwhile felt they 'didn't get the most out of the day' and was disappointed to see Alonso's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen halted by a gearbox problem in FP2.
“Usually, you do a lot of laps in Monaco as it's the only way to gain confidence on this very unusual track and that is even more the case this year, to learn how to manage the power delivery as well as possible with these new engines, keeping the torque under control, while trying to find the limit on a track that doesn't allow for any mistakes,” he noted.
“On top of that, for us engineers it is vital to understand where we can improve in terms of driveability and car stability, because with the walls this close, the drivers have to feel completely comfortable.
“With Fernando, because of the rain that fell in the lunch break, the afternoon session was reduced to around an hour, with just one run on Supersoft tyres, after a run on Intermediates. The softest compound in the range is harder than last year and took a few more laps to get up to temperature, so it was very important to try it with a view to qualifying.
“Unfortunately Kimi's second session ended after four laps because of a problem with the gearbox on his F14 T, but we hope that, with an extra day's work available this weekend, we will have the time to adjust the set-up of his car properly to suit the characteristics of this track.”
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