• Japanese Grand Prix - FP2

Alonso has good feeling after Friday practice

ESPN Staff
October 5, 2012 « Button explains limited running | Rosberg concerned about tyre wear for Mercedes »
Fernando Alonso is not sure whether he will be back at the front this weekend © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso is not sure how competitive his Ferrari will be at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, but said he had a "good feeling" after second practice.

Alonso is trying to defend a 29-point lead in the championship over Sebastian Vettel this weekend, but finished second practice off the pace of the Red Bulls and Lewis Hamilton at the top of the timesheets. Suzuka's track characteristics are similar to Silverstone's where Alonso won earlier this year, but he said he is not yet sure if that would be enough to allow him to fight at the front this weekend.

"It's hard to say if we can be as competitive here as in Silverstone: that was three months ago and we don't know exactly how our rivals' cars have evolved compared to how much progress we have made," Alonso said. "We will have to wait until tomorrow, because usually on Saturday the pack gets jumbled up. As for the small updates we have brought here, there's not much to say and we will have to spend more time looking at their behaviour."

Track temperatures were higher than usual at Suzuka, but Alonso is confident tyre wear will not become an issue.

"Overall, the feeling is good and I don't think the high temperatures can constitute a problem for the tyres. We have done a lot of races in hot conditions, and not that long ago either, given that Singapore was only a fortnight ago and just like we did there, we will have to learn to manage them, which indeed will be the case for everyone."