• Singapore Grand Prix - FP2

Alonso downplays Ferrari pace

ESPNF1 Staff
September 23, 2011 « Button rues gearbox glitch | »
Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel were half a second clear of the rest of the field © Press Association

Fernando Alonso played down Ferrari's chances of victory in the Singapore Grand Prix, despite finishing a close second to Sebastian Vettel in practice.

Alonso's quickest time in the later session was just 0.201s slower than Vettel's pace-setting time, and he followed that with a heavy fuel run that was consistently quicker than the Red Bull. Alonso confirmed that the car was more competitive than in recent races, but highlighted Red Bull as favourite and urged the team to "be realistic".

"The car is behaving more or less as we expected and the feeling from this Friday is definitely better than in Monza and Spa," Alonso said. "But we have to be realistic and not expect any great surprises: the Red Bulls are still favourites here and McLaren are also very strong. We will try and make the most of every possible opportunity."

Alonso also said that he was yet to push at 100% as he built up confidence following a heavily interrupted first session.

"The first session was interrupted so often that, along with the shortened time, it meant we could not do as many laps as we would have liked. So we tried to make the very most of the ninety minutes available in this evening's session and at least, this time, everything went smoothly. Overall, I am pleased with what we were able to see today.

"Here, like Monaco, it's very important for a driver to be able to lap enough to find the ideal reference points to be able to push to the limit, but not one centimetre over it, because every mistake is very costly. Racing at night is always a special feeling: it usually takes a little bit of time to adapt, but then, from tomorrow onwards, you can push to the maximum, trying to find the best performance."