Fernando Alonso has said he feels that Red Bull go into the new F1 season as the team to beat given the performance shown during testing so far.

Sebastian Vettel topped the times on the opening day of running at Barcelona by more than a second, with the German also quickest going into the final hour of testing again today [Saturday].

Speaking to the BBC, Alonso said he felt Red Bull would start the year as the benchmark team although he was quick to point out that there is still plenty to come from Ferrari before the season kicks off.

"We all know that Red Bull should be ahead of everybody," he said, "so we expect Red Bull to be very competitive. But it will be two or three races before we can say for sure. There is a lot to come from Ferrari as well."

Alonso was however quick to point out that you couldn't rely solely on the results of testing as an indication of who will be quick this season given the differing programmes being run by teams up the and down the pit lane.

"There is completely zero information about what the others are doing so we are not to worry," he said. "If you put 10 kilos less (fuel) in the tank you do different timed laps or if you do long runs with the hard tyre it looks a little bit better [than with] the soft. To see how competitive we are, we need to wait until the first two or three races.

"So far testing has been a good surprise for us with no big problems in the car. We have put a lot of mileage on the car, everything is running well and at the moment it feels OK for us."



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