Alonso happy with Ferrari upgrades

Fernando Alonso was pleased with his efforts in qualifying for the 2010 European Grand Prix – despite being able to challenge for pole infront of his home fans.

The Spaniard will start fourth for Ferrari and is now confident of fighting for a podium in tomorrow’s race.

Felipe Massa, fifth, was also encouraged by his performance and is hopeful that this weekend will kick start his title challenge.

Fernando Alonso – 4th: “I am happy with this result. Here, so many teams, including Ferrari, have brought new parts and so it was important to show we are capable of fighting for the top places. We managed it and we must bear in mind that, without the updates we have on the F10, we would probably have struggled to make it into Q3. Tomorrow, we have the potential to fight for a podium place: it will be important to get a good start, choose the right strategy and not make any mistakes because the walls here are not forgiving. Obviously, reliability will be very important as this track is very tough on the cars. With the harder tyre, our car was more competitive as its behaviour inspired more confidence over the flying lap, but to have done Q3 with this compound would probably have compromised our race.”

Felipe Massa – 5th:“Today, we had a good car and the potential was there to do better than this fifth place. In Q1 and Q2, I was very pleased with the handling of my F10, but in Q3 I was not able to improve, mainly because of traffic that prevented me from preparing the tyres properly. It’s a shame, because I could have been starting from third place tomorrow: from fifth it will be harder to fight for a podium finish, but the chance is still there within our grasp. The updates the team has brought here contributed to making the car more competitive and they lived up to our expectations: we must continue down this route for the rest of the season.”

Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari team principal: “We are reasonably pleased with this result. The car proved to be competitive and everything was in place to secure an even better result but, for various reasons, we never managed to put together the perfect lap with either of our two drivers. All the same, we know that as always, the points are only given out tomorrow. We can expect a long and difficult race for the drivers the teams and the cars and, as I usually say on Saturdays, reliability will be the key. The technical updates we introduced this weekend have seen us take a step forward in terms of performance, but we must continue to push on the development front, because the other teams are doing the same.”

Chris Dyer, Ferrari chief engineer: “There is a hint of disappointment at this result. After this morning’s third free practice session, we saw that our car was very competitive on the harder tyre, while it struggled a bit more to get the best out of the softer one on the single flying lap. In the two hours before qualifying, the team worked on trying to find the right compromise and the situation improved, but not enough to put us in the fight for the very top positions, which was also down to the fact that neither driver managed to get a clean lap in Q3. That explains why Felipe and Fernando ended up where they did. All the same, it’s not a bad position for the race: from what we have seen so far, the F10 seems to be very competitive over a long run.”