• Australian Grand Prix - FP2

Alonso predicts a mixed grid in Australia

ESPNF1 Staff
March 16, 2012 « 'Confident' Webber frustrated by weather | 'Difficult first day back' for Massa »
Fernando Alonso: "The balance is good and the car responds well to changes" © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso is expecting a mixed grid at the first race of the season in Australia this weekend as he believes the field has bunched up over the winter.

The Friday practice times from Albert Park were fairly inconclusive as rain ahead of both sessions limited meaningful running on dry tyres. Alonso said Ferrari was making progress but was not willing to make any predictions ahead of qualifying, other than that it will be close.

"Tomorrow I expect to see a very mixed up grid because there are so many teams that have done a good job over the winter," he said. "We will try and do our best, putting together the best elements we have tried in the past weeks, including a few details we brought here. However, my opinion has not changed: we wait for tomorrow to see where we are compared to the others. But if I was to give some sort of opinion on the day, I would say it's been positive. We did the important things, the balance is good and the car responds well to changes."

Despite the Ferrari looking twitchy from the outside, Alonso said he was happy with the car ahead of qualifying day.

"It was a bit complicated trying to work through the programme we had planned for this Friday because of the weather. Therefore there is still a bit of work to do tomorrow before qualifying, but I think the others are in a similar position. I am reasonably satisfied with the car: the initial feeling as to its balance is positive.

"However, we have not done the usual comparison between the two types of tyre, because we ran mainly on the intermediates and the mediums and these seem to be behaving quite well, as far as degradation is concerned. It was important to have everything working perfectly - from the KERS to the engine, from the power steering to the gearbox and everything else, as is always the case on the opening day of the season - and that's how it went. There's no point looking at the time sheet from today with a view to making predictions for qualifying."

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