Fernando Alonso admits he has been pleasantly surprised by how competitive Ferrari has been so far over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Having been quick on Friday - as is usually the case for Ferrari - both cars were still competitive during qualifying as Alonso and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen progressed to Q3. Alonso then made the most of the wet conditions to take fourth place behind the two Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel and he said it was the most competitive he had felt all season.

"I'm definitely happy with the result," Alonso said. "Starting on the first two rows is quite a difficult thing to do. We didn't have any qualifying that would perform at this level this season, so definitely the rain, or the conditions, or the car with this level of downforce works a little bit better. We managed to do a good lap and be on the first two rows, which is something we are quite pleased with."

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Alonso explained he was surprised because he had expected to slip away from the front runners on Saturday even in wet conditions.

"We've been close to the Mercedes on Friday because we ran less fuel and whatever happens, because normally on a Friday we are more competitive than when they put the full power on Saturdays and Sundays. So we expect to struggle a little bit more today than yesterday. But I am quite pleased with fourth and we know that in the wet we were quite far from Mercedes, and we expect to be a little bit closer.

"It was probably the characteristics of our car not putting temperature in the tyres or whatever, because if we compare the two Ferraris it seems we lose performance in the wet and we have more distance to them. In my case it was less."