Alonso Plays Down Valencia Expectations

Fernando Alonso admitted to being 'optimistic' for this weekend's European Grand Prix at Valencia but played down expectations that he could be the pace setter.

Alonso, who races in front of his home fans for the second time this season, said: "Hopefully we'll put on a good show for them. It will be interesting to see how it goes. Some circuits have suited the car better and at some we've had problems, but hopefully we can continue where we left off in Montreal and fight with Red Bull and McLaren."

Ferrari has a revised diffuser and exhaust system on the car in Valencia and rival technical directors have suggested that optimising the expulsion of exhaust gases through the diffuser could be worth as much as 0.7s per lap. McLaren and Williams is expected to have similar revisions on their cars at Silverstone.

There has been mutterings within other teams about Ferrari using Alonso and the current car at a Fiorano promotional day. Promotional days are exempt from the between-race F1 testing ban.

Asked about the 'test', Alonso said with a wry smile: "The feeling was very good. At 60kph the car felt very stable... We spent most of our time running behind camera cars and although we did so some laps with no cars in front, I did have all sorts of helmet cameras and other things connected and it was also the first time driving an F1 car at Fiorano for me, so I can't say a lot

"We are optimistic and happy with the job done in the last couple of weeks and I expect that the car will be quicker but I the other teams will also have brought something, so we need to stay calm and keep improving the car. It's not about one evolution, we need to keep going all the way to Abu Dhabi."

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