The Ferrari duo of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa qualified fourth and fifth today in Valencia, but were left thinking what might have been if either driver had managed a perfect lap.
“We are reasonably pleased with this result,” commented Stefano Domenicali. “The car proved to be competitive and everything was in place to secure an even better result but, for various reasons, we never managed to put together the perfect lap with either of our two drivers.
“All the same, we know that as always, the points are only given out tomorrow. We can expect a long and difficult race for the drivers the teams and the cars and, as I usually say on Saturdays, reliability will be the key.
“The technical updates we introduced this weekend have seen us take a step forward in terms of performance, but we must continue to push on the development front, because the other teams are doing the same.”
Alonso believes that a podium finish in his home race is a realistic prospect, and declared himself happy with his fourth-place grid slot. “Here, so many teams, including Ferrari, have brought new parts and so it was important to show we are capable of fighting for the top places,” explained the Spaniard. “We managed it and we must bear in mind that, without the updates we have on the F10, we would probably have struggled to make it into Q3.
“Tomorrow, we have the potential to fight for a podium place: it will be important to get a good start, choose the right strategy and not make any mistakes because the walls here are not forgiving.”
Massa agrees with his team principal that he could have qualified higher up the grid, and blamed traffic for his third row slot. “Today, we had a good car and the potential was there to do better than this fifth place,” he said. “In Q1 and Q2, I was very pleased with the handling of my F10, but in Q3 I was not able to improve, mainly because of traffic that prevented me from preparing the tyres properly.
“It's a shame, because I could have been starting from third place tomorrow: from fifth it will be harder to fight for a podium finish, but the chance is still there within our grasp.