Renault driver, Fernando Alonso believes that his team is more than ready for the Australian Grand Prix this coming weekend.

The Spaniard, who is more confident with this year's car, knows though that while the R25 will be competitive, they are likely to face stiff competition from McLaren and Ferrari.

"I don't think Melbourne is a perfect circuit for us," he commented.

"Other tracks will suit our car better, but looking at the winter testing times, I hope we will be very competitive. The secret for the weekend will be to avoid problems, because nobody can afford to lose track time at the first race of the year. With a new car, and on a circuit that we only visit once a season, you need to do as many laps as possible to work on the set-up and get used to the track. So our main priority will be for the weekend to run smoothly, so we can do a maximum number of laps.

"In terms of competitiveness, I expect Ferrari to be the number one team still, and McLaren have looked very strong during the winter. I think those two teams will be our biggest rivals."

"We are ready for Melbourne though," he added.

"We have done a lot of running since the new car was launched, and learned a lot about the R25 - more than in previous winters.

"In our last big test in Barcelona, we still had some reliability problems, but that is normal at this stage of the year and the team has worked hard to get on top of them since then. I think we understand the car well, and have made good progress with its driveability and performance in recent test sessions. Overall, it was a successful winter for the team.

"I am much more confident with this car. It is easy to drive, and you can run on the limit without any nasty surprises in how the behaviour changes over long runs. It is a very consistent car."


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