• Monaco Grand Prix - FP2

Monaco hides Ferrari's flaws - Alonso

ESPNF1 Staff
May 26, 2011 « Hamilton: 'The car feels amazing' | »
Fernando Alonso: "The aerodynamics count for less and so we are suffering less" © Getty Images

After setting the fastest time in Thursday practice, Fernando Alonso said the Monaco street circuit plays to his Ferrari's strengths and hides its flaws.

Alonso hooked up a sensational lap around the two mile track to go 0.105 faster than his closest rival Lewis Hamilton. On the surface it appeared to be a dramatic step forward for Ferrari, which has only made a few minor changes to the car since qualifying a second off the pace in Spain a week ago, but Alonso said the Monaco circuit hid the car's aerodynamic weaknesses.

"In Monaco it's mainly a question of having a good feel for the car: the more the driver has, the harder he can push, lap after lap," he said. "It seems we are a bit more competitive than elsewhere, although one has to adopt the usual caution linked to the unknown factor of how much fuel the others were running. However, the reason is very simple in that here, the aerodynamics count for less and so we are suffering less. On a track with the lowest average speed, some weaknesses are hidden by other factors, such as the mechanical side and the engine. I immediately felt comfortable here, right from the morning, so I was able to push harder and harder, because the car was reacting well and I had confidence in it."

He also suspects that Red Bull is holding something back ahead of qualifying.

"I am pleased, but we know this is just the first day and that the Red Bulls could be hiding a bit, before coming out for Saturday's qualifying," he said. "Saturday will be a much more stressful day because here, the slightest error carries a heavy penalty. We must try to take some risks, because we need to close the gap to the best."

And he said there was not much of a difference in lap time between the super-soft and soft tyres Pirelli has brought to Monaco.

"As for the tyres, I think that their performance is reasonably similar to what we saw in winter testing, even though temperatures are now much higher: compared to the other races, there is not such a big difference between the prime and the options, or at least that's the initial impression."