Mar 22, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
Fernando Alonso is looking to improve his qualifying form having set himself the target of a front row start for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
“On my lap on the medium tires, I did not have the right balance,” Alonso said. “Otherwise I could have managed to improve, as I did on the hards and I could probably have been on the front row.”
Alonso finished fourth in both practice sessions on Friday, and the Ferrari driver believes that the team can learn more from this weekend than they did in Australia.
“Today the car worked well in all conditions and that is very good news for us. This circuit is more representative than Australia for evaluating the car’s performance and so it was important to understand here today if the positive feelings from the winter were not just an illusion.”
Many drivers and teams are hoping that the forecast rain will not interrupt proceedings in Malaysia after last weekend’s race faced long delays. The race is held in monsoon season, making showers likely, and Alonso was aware of the changeable conditions.
“We must see how tomorrow goes, when it could rain at any moment and on a track where tire degradation is much higher than in Melbourne.”
Ferrari showed impressive pace in Australia, and Alonso finished a strong P2 after qualifying fifth. If he is able to qualify strongly in Malaysia, he will certainly be in the running to repeat his victory from last year at the Sepang International Circuit. His qualifying form was the weak link in his 2012 championship challenge, having claimed just two pole positions, and he has not started on the front row since the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.