• Chinese Grand Prix - FP2

Alonso wary of Saturday rain

ESPN Staff
April 18, 2014 « Ricciardo is Mercedes' only challenger - Button | Early problems could be costly - Raikkonen »
Fernando Alonso is encouraged by the progress made at Ferrari since Bahrain © Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso admits the predicted rain for Saturday's qualifying session will leave Ferrari relying purely on "guesswork" after an encouraging day in Friday practice.

It has been a period of upheaval since Alonso celebrated finishing ninth in Bahrain, with team principal Stefano Domenicali resigning on Monday and being replaced by Marco Mattiacci. Alonso topped the opening session and then split the Mercedes drivers in FP2 but he knows rain will undo much of his hard work in qualifying.

"Leaving aside the performance of the others, I am happy with what we have done." he said. "At every race, all the teams bring something new and we must try and make an additional step forward if we want to be competitive.

"This track is particularly tough on tyres, with the Softs especially suffering from graining over a long run, so it will be important to work out the tyre plan for Sunday. If it rains tomorrow, we will definitely have less information for the race and we will have to rely on guesswork. Let's hope we make the right choices."

Despite finishing strongly in both sessions Alonso is also all too aware Friday form counts for little in the context of an entire race weekend, though he was encouraged by the progress Ferrari seemed to have made.

"Fridays are the same, a day when you especially need to test the tyres to adapt to the circuit and on this front, maybe it was less useful than usual, because the forecast for tomorrow suggests rain is on the way," he said. "We have brought some small updates here, which we already tried at the Bahrain test. Everything worked well and that's good news."

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