• Bahrain Grand Prix - FP2

Ferrari 'in the leading group' - Alonso

ESPN Staff
April 19, 2013 « Grosjean happier with new chassis | Teams at odds over extra Friday tyres »
Fernando Alonso: "We are reasonably pleased with how the car behaved" © Getty Images
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Fernando Alonso expects Ferrari to be "up in the leading group" of closely matched teams in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa was quickest in FP1 ahead of his team-mate, while Alonso was fourth in FP2; just 0.156s off Kimi Raikkonen's best time. Despite having yesterday claimed Red Bull was quicker than Ferrari in China, Alonso was more confident after Friday practice at Sakhir and said he felt the team is within a group of teams capable of fighting for pole position.

"It was a positive day and we are reasonably pleased with how the car behaved," Alonso said. "We had no major problems and more importantly, we didn't have to make any radical changes to the F138 to adapt it to this track and its long straights and slow corners, characteristics which I like a lot and usually produce a great show in the race.

"Unfortunately, the wind and sand make everything a bit more complicated here, because the track surface never gets completely clean. However, the initial feelings are good and I think we can be up in the leading group tomorrow, a group that is all within the same two, maximum three tenths."

With Ferrari running new aerodynamic parts during FP1, Alonso said a decision would be made on what would be retained on the car ahead of FP3.

"We have not yet decided if we will use the aero updates we tried in the morning. It is not yet completely clear how they worked and in the afternoon, we concentrated on comparing the two tyre compounds we have for this race. Ahead of us is another long evening of studying data to choose the best strategy and set-up for qualifying and the race."