Fernando Alonso confident over Ferrari's Bahrain pace but unsure on F138 updates
Spaniard optimistic of being in pole mix in Qualifying
Last Updated: 19/04/13 5:47pm
Fernando Alonso: Feeling optimistic over Ferrari's chances
Fernando Alonso says Ferrari have yet to decide whether they will race the F138 upgrades they tried on Friday in Bahrain - although is nonetheless confident they are poised to be among the leading teams.
The three-time Sakhir winner, fresh from his first win of 2013 five days ago in China, finished second and fourth in the two practice sessions respectively although set the overall pace on the harder of Pirelli's two tyres in the latter.
Afterwards Alonso cut a contented figure, despite the inconclusiveness surrounding the aerodynamic tweaks, and predicted Ferrari could join the fight for pole.
"It was a positive day and we are reasonably pleased with how the car behaved," the said.
"The initial feelings are good and I think we can be up in the leading group tomorrow, a group that is all within the same two, maximum three tenths.
"We have not yet decided if we will use the aero updates we tried in the morning. It is not yet completely clear how they worked and in the afternoon, we concentrated on comparing the two tyre compounds we have for this race.
"Ahead of us is another long evening of studying data to choose the best strategy and set-up for qualifying and the race."
However, team-mate Felipe Massa, who had set the outright morning pace before slipping to sixth on the medium tyre in Practice Two, revealed that tyre management - something thought to be a particular strength of the F138 - hadn't been as good as it could have been in the oppressive heat.
"Car balance was good and it behaved well in all conditions, even if we suffered a bit with tyre wear, especially at the rear. It's pretty normal to have significant degradation in such high temperatures and on this front, we have a lot of work to do to prepare for the race," he said.
"On the Medium tyres, the F138 worked really well, even over a long run, but the key on Sunday will be managing the degradation of both compounds, as well as deciding on whether or not to use the updates we tried here this morning."