• Belgian Grand Prix - FP2

Ferrari closing on the front - Alonso

ESPN Staff
August 23, 2013 « Button perplexed by FP2 issues | Lotus won't run passive DRD at Spa, Sauber tempted »
Fernando Alonso: "In terms of today's times, we have got closer to the favourites" © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso drew positives from Friday's practice sessions for the Belgian Grand Prix, saying Ferrari has made inroads into the gap to the front.

Alonso was over a second off the Red Bull's at the 7km Spa-Francorchamps circuit but split set-up choices with team-mate Felipe Massa, who was 0.8s off Sebastian Vettel's pace. Alonso believes Ferrari has closed the gap and says the key factor for the weekend will be the weather.

"Felipe and I tried different aero configurations, with more and less downforce, which will be the real key to this race, along with the weather," he said. "In terms of today's times, we have got closer to the favourites, but I'm not sure which weather forecast I would prefer. It's true that in the rain, the cards on the table can be shuffled up, but in the wet there are as many chances to benefit as there are to lose.

"This was a good day, even if in the morning we, and in fact everyone, lost time because of the rain and so in the afternoon we found ourselves facing double the workload. Before drawing any conclusions, we need to wait for the analysis of the data acquired this afternoon from both cars."

Alonso suffered a slow puncture on his last lap after debris caused two small holes in the tread of his tyre. After the blowouts at Silverstone drivers threatened to strike, but Alonso believes the issues are unrelated.

"It will be important to have a good understanding of how the tyres are behaving in the dry, as well as finding out what happened to the Caterham [of Giedo van der Garde which spun], to Vettel [who had a puncture] and also to me on my in-lap. I don't think it's a similar problem to what we saw in Silverstone, maybe more of a random set of circumstances, but all the same, it needs careful analysis".