- Australian Grand Prix
New Ferrari might not be slower than rivals - Alonso
Fernando Alonso says he is relaxed about Ferrari's prospects at this weekend's Australian Grand Prix and has faith the team will be in the fight for the championship this year.
By Ferrari's own admission, pre-season testing did not go to plan with the new F2012 proving difficult to understand. Alonso said earlier this week that his team will have to "grit its teeth" at the opening rounds of the season, but on Thursday said the car will not necessarily be much slower than its rivals.
"I'm very relaxed about the possibilities of our car," Autosport.com quoted him as saying. "I think the winter has been tough for us with so many tests to do. It's quite a complex car in terms of set-up and understanding it. Maybe we didn't reach our targets but it doesn't mean that we are slower than the other cars. That we will not know until Saturday.
"We want to be world champions in November, that's the ultimate target, and in Melbourne we need to have a good start. But we will find out how competitive we are on Saturday."
And Alonso insisted he has faith that Ferrari will overcome its problems and be among the front runners come the end of the season.
"We will put all the best pieces together in Melbourne for the first time. In the winter tests you are always doing different programmes. I believe in this team. I trust this team completely and it will be a long championship and Ferrari will always be there."