• British Grand Prix - Qualifying

Alonso: Ferrari 'closer than ever'

ESPNF1 Staff
July 9, 2011 « Hamilton 'disappointed' but hopeful for race | »
Fernando Alonso is confident Ferrari can race Red Bull on Sunday © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso says that Ferrari is "closer than ever" to Red Bull after qualifying third for the British Grand Prix.

Alonso lines up behind the Red Bull pair of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, but qualified just over 0.1s off Webber's pole-position time. Having managed to get much closer to the pace-setters in qualifying trim, Alonso said that the reason for the improvement was that the updates brought to the car for the race had all worked, and that it gave him reason to believe he could challenge for victory.

"I was second in Canada but this third feels much better because to be within one tenth of pole position this is completely new for us this year," Alonso said. "And a little bit of a good surprise because you normally bring new parts to the race as always, you test it on Fridays and then you see which ones are working and which ones need more time to put on the car. But it seems this weekend that everything we put on the car yesterday seems to work OK, and we gained some downforce back, and especially here in Silverstone with the high speed corners being one strength of the Red Bull it's fantastic news for us so far this weekend. But we are only happy if on Sunday we take points. It is only Saturday, we have a good grid position but it's tomorrow when we have to deliver.

"Definitely we are closer than ever. We have always been a second behind (in qualifying) and sometimes finished second or third in the races but a little bit closer to Red Bull, like in Turkey we finished third but we fought with Mark until the end and the last race we finished second, also fighting with the Red Bulls having been seven or eight tenths off the pace in qualy. So today we are a little bit quicker, and I'm sure that tomorrow we can put some more pressure on them."