Fernando Alonso suspects that more cold weather over the weekend could play into the hands of Red Bull, but says that his performance today (P1 and P2 in the morning and afternoon sessions respectively) demonstrates that the pace of Ferrari at the British Grand Prix was not just down to the regulations on off-throttle blown diffusers.
“First impressions from the car [this weekend] are good, which confirms that we are working in the right direction,” said the Spaniard. “I've said it before, it's not a case of a miracle having happened at Silverstone, because of the regulations relating to the exhausts. That result was down to the many improvements introduced race after race, as could be seen from the fact that, even from Monaco, we had returned to a good level in terms of being competitive and here too, where we are back to the Valencia rules, we are at the front end of the field.
“In theory, the cold is not a friend to us: in these conditions, the Red Bull has even more of an edge, but it's up to us to adapt as well as possible to these conditions. On top of that, the low temperatures can also impact on our strategy for qualifying, given it's not easy to do a time right from the first timed lap. It if was to rain, the situation would be even more complicated.”
Felipe Massa was also comfortably faster than all but the Red Bull drivers and his team-mates, reinforcing the notion that Ferrari have been improving much faster than McLaren in recent races.
“I would say we can be reasonably satisfied with our level of competitiveness, even if it's too soon to say if we can fight for something important,” said the Brazilian. “The pace over a long run is not bad on both types of tyre: there is quite some difference between the Prime and the Option and we will need to keep that in mind when coming up with our race strategy. It's a bit of a struggle to do a time immediately on the first lap, even with the Soft, but I think it's the same problem for everyone.”