- Spanish Grand Prix
Alonso confident Ferrari updates will start to close gap
Fernando Alonso is confident Ferrari's latest updates are working this weekend, but again played down expectations ahead of his home Spanish Grand Prix.
Ferrari has brought the first stage of its major rethink to Barcelona, which the team is hoping will close some of the gap to the front runners this weekend. Alonso said the early signs during Friday practice had inspired confidence and he is hoping to have an easier time making Q3 in qualifying on Saturday.
"Yesterday we said that we tried to recover some of the gap with the first step [of the upgrade] here in Barcelona and I'm confident that we did the job," he said. "The updates that we introduced today, the first numbers and first signs are positive. We need to look in more detail but everything looks as we suspected. But for sure it's not as some of the expectations that we read last week [in the press]."
Asked whether it would be another case of damage limitation for Ferrari this weekend, Alonso said: "Still too early [to say], I think we need to wait until tomorrow, especially qualifying [depending on] how tough it is to go through to Q3 - that has been quite tough for us in China, Bahrain and this year.
"So tomorrow hopefully we will see some positive signs from this and if we can go through to Q3 a little bit more relaxed it would be a good sign. If we go to Q3 with a lot of problems or we don't go into Q3 at all then we have the same situation that we had before. Tomorrow will be a good answer on that, but today it is still too early to say because we don't know what the others are doing and on Friday it's always impossible to analyse."
Alonso finished the session in 14th, but explained he did not manage to get a clean lap on the soft tyres and therefore did not improve on his hard tyre lap as much as his competitors.
"I had some traffic in the first lap and then I was slow for the second and when I pushed in the third I had traffic. So I think I can improve a little tomorrow with a clean lap and hopefully be a little bit closer to this advantage gain [between hard and soft tyres] that everybody seemed to find with the soft. In a way we seemed a little bit more confident with the hard tyres today."