MARCH 16, 2012
Spectacular Alonso claims 'normal' Friday
Despite much pre-event speculation about the state of Ferrari's competitiveness, Fernando Alonso expects the usual teams to be battling out the first race of the new F1 season.
Both Friday practice sessions in Melbourne featured mixed weather conditions and in FP1 the Spaniard was one of the most spectacular drivers on the circuit en route to fourth quickest time, the same position he found himself at the end of a similarly mixed FP1.
Asked whether he'd simply been attacking or whether Ferrari's F2012 had been a bit difficult, Alonso said: "I wasn't sleeping, I was attacking but it was damp in some areas and here the straights are not really straights and so on the intermediates the car was moving a bit. The other things is, you do 500 laps in the simulator and then you come here and find that the reality is more difficult!"
In general though, Alonso was satisfied with Ferrari's opening day.
"There were some parts from the Barcelona test that we wanted to confirm in FP1 and some new ones for this race. Everything was okay, we had positive results in the little time available on a dry track. All we missed was the comparison between the medium and soft tyres, which we will do tomorrow. The feeling from the car was okay.
"I think the favourites are the usual teams - Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes. And I think Sauber is also interesting at the first races and Force India was quick today."