• German Grand Prix - Qualifying

Alonso's confidence boosted by Ferrari showing

ESPN Staff
July 6, 2013 « 'The team made a mistake' - Rosberg | Third on the grid was possible - Raikkonen »
Fernando Alonso ended qualifying in eighth place, but only Felipe Massa ahead of him will also start on the medium tyres © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso said he is more confident of a competitive race for Ferrari following qualifying for the German Grand Prix.

Having qualified in tenth place and a whole 1.3s off the pace set by Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone, Alonso was alarmed at Ferrari's apparent lack of pace. However, despite only qualifying two places higher at the Nurburgring, Alonso did so on medium tyres and said the signs from Saturday were that Ferrari was closer to the leaders.

"I think we've made a step forward in this race, there's no doubt," Alonso said. "We are more competitive than we were in Silverstone; we were 1.5s off the pace in Silverstone in some practice sessions and qualifying 1 and 2, which was not the case today. So definitely the team did a step forward and we've come back with a more normal level of competitiveness.

"We need to improve, yes, there's no questions about that. We were not in the quickest before, especially on Saturdays and obviously we're not the quickest now but we are at least more confident for tomorrow because the car is performing in a more normal way."

Explaining the decision to run on medium tyres, Alonso said it was clear early in Q3 that Ferrari couldn't match the pace of the leaders on softs.

"The temperature was not a factor today, if it is going to be a factor it will be more in the race because of the degradation that can be affected. We were the only top team to put on the soft tyre in Q1 so we were top and then in Q2 when we put the second new set of softs on to maximise the grip level we were doing 1m29.9s which is more representative of our timed lap.

"The other teams were just on their first set of softs at that time, then when they pushed in Q3 we saw 1m29.3s which is for us a little bit too fast. So it was more or less as expected. We knew with the softs we could maybe qualify in fifth or sixth, with the medium maybe seventh place. With the strategy it is not clear which one will be the best so tomorrow we will find out. Whichever tyre you put on if you are fast you will be on the podium or win the race; if you are not fast then you will not be on the podium. So it's about the pace tomorrow, not the tyre or the strategy."