Brawn GP speed is genuine, says Alonso

button2Fernando Alonso has added to the chorus of support for the new Brawn GP team, saying that the team’s outstanding testing performances reflect true speed.

The two-time world champion told Spanish newspaper AS that the team was as quick if not quicker than the rest of the field, and that he believed the British team’s performance was not simply down to running light to attract attention and sponsors.

“Ferrari, Brawn, or BMW are, right now, unreachable,” he was quoted as saying.

The Brawn concern, formerly known as Honda, stunned the F1 circus by hitting supreme times in testing earlier this week. But Alonso pointed out that they had been developing the car since the middle of 2007, when they more or less abandoned the under-performing Honda chassis for that year and the following.

“It’s not normal that they are so quick in their first tests,” he added. “The truth is that they have a car that Honda began working on in 2007 to use in 2009. And that’s evident in its design, because it’s a very elaborate car, with different shapes than the rest.”

The double world champion also gave some insight to his own team Renault’s position.

“We have to think that finishing fifth here, with one car per team, means being 10th in a race. There are three or four teams ahead of us. Even so, it’s not all about winning in Melbourne because the championship is very long.”

He went on to counsel cautious optimism about the possibilities in the 2009 season.

”We were really bad at Portimao and ready to win the title at Jerez. We have to take it one step at the time and if we work well we’ll be able to compete in a high level.”