Fernando Alonso has warned his team not to get ahead of itself after an encouraging performance on the opening day of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Alonso topped the damp morning session on Friday, before slipping to seventh fastest in the afternoon, with the Spaniard a second behind the dominant Red Bull pair of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
Despite the gulf in laptime between the Ferrari and the Red Bull in FP2, Alonso believes that the Scuderia have actually closed in on their main rivals and could come into play this weekend if the weather goes in their favour, even if the 32-year-old is yet to decide which way that is.
“Felipe and I tried different aero configurations, with more and less downforce, which will be the real key to this race, along with the weather”, said the double world champion. “In terms of today’s times, we have got closer to the favourites, but I’m not sure which weather forecast I would prefer. It’s true that in the rain, the cards on the table can be shuffled up, but in the wet there are as many chances to benefit as there are to lose.”
But Alonso is insistent that the team should not be drawing too many conclusions just yet as it remains early in the weekend.
“This was a good day, even if in the morning we, and in fact everyone, lost time because of the rain and so in the afternoon we found ourselves facing double the workload”, he said. “Before drawing any conclusions, we need to wait for the analysis of the data acquired this afternoon from both cars.”
After suffering a slow puncture in the closing minutes of the afternoon practice session, the Spaniard was careful to distance his tyre failure from those experienced by a number of teams, Ferrari included, at this year’s British Grand Prix.
“It will be important to have a good understanding of how the tyres are behaving in the dry, as well as finding out what happened to the Caterham, to Vettel and also to me on my in-lap. I don’t think it’s a similar problem to what we saw in Silverstone, maybe more of a random set of circumstances, but all the same, it needs careful analysis.”
Picture Copyright © Octane Photographic