- Malaysian Grand Prix
Alonso unconcerned by practice pace
Championship leader Fernando Alonso says he is unconcerned with the team's unremarkable showing in Friday practice and insists it is business as usual.
Alonso finished the session seventh, 1.4 seconds off the pace of Hamilton, but did not appear to attempt a low-fuel run.
"It's pointless to look for any significance in Friday's classification: I'm seventh, but I could just as well have been second or last and it would not have changed anything," he said. "It all depends on the difference between the programmes adopted by the teams.
"From our side, we are reasonably happy with what we have done and first impressions would be that there is no reason to expect a very different picture to the one we saw in Bahrain and Australia, partly because, in the space of four days, nothing much is likely to have changed. The car is very easy to drive and quite enjoyable to drive here in Sepang - with high fuel and low fuel it remains more or less the same balance, so this is good news for us in terms of race preparation.
"As before, I expect Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes to be very competitive and we will have to do our best. It will not be easy, but there is no reason to be pessimistic. The temperatures of the engine, brakes, tyres and last but not least, the drivers, will be an important factor, which we will have to keep under control."
Alonso, who has won twice before at Sepang in 2005 and 2007, also knows that the unpredictable Kuala Lumpur weather could play a big part in proceedings over the weekend.
"It remains very open about the weather conditions - it could rain at any moment in either qualifying or the race. So we need to concentrate and make no mistakes."