Fernando Alonso said Ferrari managed to enjoy a productive Friday of practice ahead of the United States Grand Prix.

While Ferrari is traditionally quick on a Friday, it was McLaren that was second to Mercedes during FP1. However, Alonso was third quickest in the afternoon session - albeit over a second slower than Lewis Hamilton - and he said better grip levels in Austin had helped Ferrari make progress throughout the day.

"Today we did some good testing, helped by the track conditions, which were definitely different to previous years," Alonso said. "It's possible the races they had here a few weeks ago helped to clean the track and as far as grip levels were concerned, we didn't have too many problems.

Related Articles

"In the second session, the situation was slightly worse because of the strong wind, but that was expected over the weekend and did not affect our work too much. The Soft compound seems to last less than expected, but we are well aware how much tyre performance can change as the track evolves. Certainly the race looks like it will be different to past editions, because the likelihood of two stops opens up different strategic possibilities."

Alonso also said the virtual safety car which was tested at the end of practice had shown good promise and said drivers should not judge it too soon.

"Today we tried the Virtual Safety Car system and I think that, for a first try it went well, although there is still much to do. All us drivers agree it's a very worthwhile idea, we just need to get used to it."