Fernando Alonso was upbeat in Turkey today, but the former World Champion cautioned that it was still too early to say how successful Ferrari’s latest updates have been.
Alonso lost some time with some problems, including a moment when he stopped before the pit entry and had to be pushed into the garage. He finished the day a modest 11th, while team mate Felipe Massa was sixth.
“It’s difficult to evaluate right now because we just finished practice, but the car felt good. Felt OK this morning, felt OK this afternoon. We had some mechanical issues in my car, but nothing too worrying. So we’ll see tomorrow.
“In terms of performance as I said it’s difficult to evaluate after a Friday, you never know what the others are doing as well, but we did a step forward. We need to see how big it was.
“All the improvements we’ve brought here are aerodynamic parts, obviously what you feel in the car is a little bit more overall grip. If it’s down to the tyres, to the improvements, to the track conditions, or everybody’s feeling a good grip, we don’t know. It’s too early to say, but we’ll wait for tomorrow. The target is to be fighting with them.
“I think Mercedes also improved a lot, they are quick. Renault I think also, they will also be competitive. So it’s tough. I think two or three tenths, you can be fourth or fifth, or ninth, so we just need to make our best tomorrow. We need to take out the best of the car, the maximum potential we have, and be in front of all these people.”
Alonso says he hasn’t learned much about tyre wear, and especially the impact of Turn 8.
“I didn’t complete enough laps to answer this question completely. We lost a bit of time in the garage with some problems in the car, and then I think I did only six or seven laps in the long runs.
“In those laps it felt OK, but it’s a question mark after those laps what is going to happen to the tyres, and how the track will improve as well during the weekend, because it was the first laps on dry tyres for any category so far this weekend.
“We’ll see after GP2, after GP3, and tomorrow’s qualifying how the race goes. But there is no doubt that it’s a stressful circuit for the tyres.”