• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP2

Alonso expects 'tight qualifying'

ESPNF1 Staff
November 12, 2010 « Webber confident for weekend | »
Fernando Alonso was third fastest on Friday © Getty Images

Fernando Alonso is optimistic that his Ferrari team can get closer to Red Bull during Saturday's all important qualifying session than it has managed before this season after he finished third fastest in Friday free practice.

"This weekend has got off on the right foot for us, as we gathered a lot of data which is now being evaluated by our engineers," said Alonso. "We are reasonably pleased with the car's level of competitiveness and the fact it feels easy to drive, but we know there is still more potential that can be extracted to go even quicker.

"I expect tomorrow's qualifying to be very tight: let's hope we can get closer to the Red Bulls than we have been in the past. There is no point in speculating over the possible scenarios that could unfold in the race: we have to concentrate on ourselves and on how to make the car go faster."

Team-mate Felipe Massa also confessed himself happy with his opening salvo of the weekend despite stopping on the circuit late in the second session.

"Overall, it was a good debut for me at this track, where I was unable to race last year," said Massa. "My times came down progressively, both because of the changing track conditions and also, as lap after lap, I managed to learn where I could push harder. It was a shame I had a little problem towards the end of the second session which prevented me from doing my last series of laps with a heavy fuel load.

"I hope to be able to continue to make progress so as to be in the fight for the top places. The car seems to handle well: now we must analyse the data we have gathered to try and make the right choices in terms of set-up and aerodynamic configuration. I am sure that there is room to improve our performance level."