- Second Barcelona Test, Day Two
Ferrari '200 times better' than 2012 - Alonso
Fernando Alonso says this year's pre-season has left Ferrari in a position "200 times better" than it was at the start of 2012.
Ferrari's poor pre-season last year left it on the back foot and even though Alonso took the title challenge down to the final race of the season he was ultimately unsuccessful in an inferior car to Red Bull's RB9. However, the signs have been more positive this winter and Alonso confirmed the team had progressed from its position at the end of last year.
"We hope that we have reduced that gap [to the top teams] and we will arrive in Australia in better shape than Brazil, which means 200 times better than last year in Australia," Alonso said.
The team won't have the major Melbourne upgrades available this weekend, meaning they will only be tested for the first time during Friday practice, but Alonso said he is unconcerned.
"I'm happy to bring to Australia all the things. I think it was been a trouble-free winter for us in terms of correlations in that we put little parts they work as we predicted and expected, so to bring some more new things to Australia, I think we have to be confident that they will work as we think. So no big worries and Australia is not the final race of the championship, Australia will be the starting point for many packages coming this season."
When asked if he felt the car would allow him to compete for the world championship this year, Alonso said he was confident it would if only because it's better than the F2012.
"I didn't see any reasons to not think so because last year it was a very difficult winter, we were completely lost, we had some races with the exhaust I remember ... and we didn't know what the car was doing. We didn't understand what was going on in the wind tunnel and on the track, and with that car we fought for the world championship until Brazil.
"So we have now a car that is responding well to what we change on the car. We have a car that is doing what we expected the car to do. We know that maybe we are not the quickest still, but the starting point and the potential of this car is there. We can touch it now. Last year it was a dream to make that car work. This year to make this car work it will be much more easy, that's for sure."