Alonso and Massa confident of strong weekend

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Belgium, Circuit de Spa-Francorchampsbe

Scuderia Ferrari is trying to draw positives from today's mixed practice session. Both drivers appear to be reasonably happy after trying various downforce configuration for the car.

Fernando Alonso is optimistic for the remainder of the weekend, although it is not clear yet which configuration his car will have tomorrow.

“This was a good day", he said, "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. Before drawing any conclusions, we need to wait for the analysis of the data acquired this afternoon from both cars. 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. 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."

The Spaniard also noted that it will be important to get an understand of what is going on with the tyres, as he suspects the crash of Giedo van der Garde may also have been caused by a tyre issue.

"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”.

Team mate Felipe Massa is also sure that Ferrari looks set for a strong weekend at Spa, even though the weather will play an important role.

“Today, the changeable weather had a big effect on the way free practice was run", Massa said. But if we want to look at things in terms of a glass half full, then at least the few laps we managed in the morning were important, to give us an idea of the behaviour of the car in the wet, which is always useful here in Spa. In the afternoon, in the dry, we managed to get through our programme, testing some new parts and both types of Pirelli tyre. The outcome of the race simulation tells us that we have what we need to be on the pace and we will definitely do all we can to fight with the leaders of the classification”.