Fernando Alonso is refusing to read too much into his timesheet-topping performance during Free Practice in Valencia today, insisting that Red Bull are still the favourites for victory at the European Grand Prix.
Nevertheless, the Spaniard was still happy with how today has gone: “Overall, a positive start to this Valencia weekend, my second home race,” he said, summarising the two practice sessions.
“The track characteristics are well suited to our car, but it is too early to say where we are compared to the others. Already, in the past, we have gone well on the first day only to see ourselves losing out by a second in qualifying, therefore I don't even want to consider today's time sheet. In FP1 and FP2 you try so many things and the track changes very quickly – even more so on a street circuit like this one – so it is really impossible to make predictions.
“The car seems to handle well, therefore we can tackle qualifying with confidence, aware that we are up against very strong rivals: it's not by chance that Red Bull have always taken pole in the first seven races of the year and clearly they are still the favourites. Overtaking here will be easier than in Monaco, but grid position will nevertheless be important.”
Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa was not far off the pace of Alonso today and is pleased with the pace of the F150° Italia on this Spanish street circuit:
“I'd say it was a good day, better than many other Fridays this season,” the Brazilian said. “From what we could understand after three hours of free practice, the car is pretty competitive and I don't expect the situation to be that different to the one we saw two weeks ago in Canada. It's true it is only Friday, but at least it's a positive start!”