• Indian GP

Track conditions blur pecking order - Alonso

ESPN Staff
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Fernando Alonso was third quickest in both sessions on Friday © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso says the changing track conditions at the Buddh International Circuit makes the grid pecking order tough to predict.

Alonso was third quickest in FP2 behind the two Red Bulls, but 0.6s slower than the time set by Sebastian Vettel. However, with track conditions changing all the time as more rubber was laid down on the circuit, Alonso said he was not reading in to the times too much.

"This is an interesting circuit: after the longest straight, there's a combination of high speed corners which are very nice to drive," Alonso said. "Today the track was still very dirty, which is usually the case at new tracks that aren't used very often. Tomorrow, when it will deliver more grip, it will be even more fun.

"The track conditions, which change rapidly lap after lap, make it even more complicated to understand the situation relating to the hierarchy down the pit lane. We must study the data carefully to make the right choices for the rest of the weekend. Nothing much to say about tyre performance: from what we've seen today, we can hope there's one less problem to take into consideration."

It was a less straightforward day for Felipe Massa, who spun twice in the afternoon session and said his schedule was compromised as a result.

"It was a rather difficult day, especially in the afternoon. The first session went well and we were able to do everything we had planned. But in the second one, when we switched from the Hard to the Soft, the balance of the car was no longer the best and it was becoming very difficult to drive, to such an extent that I ended up spinning. Unfortunately, that damaged a tyre and so I was unable to do the work over a long run which had been one of our priorities. In the final half hour, I therefore concentrated on pit stop practice, the only thing possible with the tyres in that condition."

Technical director Pat Fry confirmed it wasn't Massa's error that caused him to spin on the second occasion.

"Unfortunately, while Fernando had no problems and was able to carry out his programme normally, the same could not be said for Felipe," Fry said. "One of the settings on his car was incorrect and that compromised the balance of the car and prevented him from getting the most out of the set of Softs and also led to him spinning, which damaged one of the tyres, pretty much ending his session."