FEBRUARY 28, 2012
Alonso: Red Bull is very strong
Fernando Alonso has told Spanish media that it is hard to say where Ferrari stacks up against its 2012 competition but admits that Red Bull looks "very strong."
"That's hardly a surprise," the 2005-6 champion went on as he spoke at a Santander Ferrari event at Jarama, Spain, where Gilles Villleneuve took a famous win for the Scuderia in 1981.
Speaking about the performance of the new Ferrari F2012 in testing so far, Alonso said: "In Barcelona the F2012 was better than it had been in Jerez and it will be better still this week and even more so in Melbourne.
"There is still a lot of work to do, but no reason why we should not be ready for the first race. It's true there are only four more days of testing and we will have to also make use of the first Friday at a race weekend to continue with development, but the car is reasonably complex and needs time, as was the case over the first eight days.
"It's definitely too early to say where we are compared to the others. Red Bull is very strong. For our part, it will be useful to get off to a good start as this always takes the pressure off the team, but if we do not turn out to be competitive enough to challenge for victory immediately, then it's important that it's not just one person doing the winning.
"The difference in performance between us and Red Bull in 2011 was not that different to what it had been in 2010 and yet, two years ago, we came to the last race leading the championship, while last year we were hardly ever in the title fight."