October 5th, 2012 (F1plus Team).- For ferrari, it was a friday like so many others here in Suzuka, the scene of the first two free practice sessions for the Japanese Grand Prix: Fernando Alonso completed 54 laps at the wheel of his F2012, on a day given over to a thorough analysis of several aerodynamic configurations and an evaluation of the small updates brought to the fascinating Japanese track.
Nevertheless, Fernando Alonso is unsure of how competitive his Ferrari will be at this weekend's race, but said he had a "good feeling" after second practice.
Alonso is trying to protect the 29-point lead in the championship standings over Sebastian Vettel, who finished with the third best time of the day and behind his teammate Webber.
Suzuka's track characteristics are similar to Silverstone's where Alonso won earlier this year, but that might not be enought as the track also suits Red Bull's high Aero profile.
“This was a reasonably good day. I like driving at Suzuka because it’s a very nice track which I love coming to race at and which, with its characteristics and its fast Esses, reminds me a lot of Spa." Alonso Said.
The temperatures at the track were higher -among other things because of big amount of sunshine- than usual at Suzuka, but Alonso believes tyre wear will not become an issue.
"Overall, the feeling is good and I don’t think the high temperatures can constitute a problem for the tyres. We have done a lot of races in hot conditions, and not that long ago either, given that Singapore was only a fortnight ago and just like we did there, we will have to learn to manage them, which indeed will be the case for everyone."
It’s hard to say if we can be as competitive here as in Silverstone: that was three months ago and we don’t know exactly how our rivals’ cars have evolved compared to how much progress we have made. We will have to wait until tomorrow, because usually on Saturday the pack gets jumbled up. As for the small updates we have brought here, there’s not much to say and we will have to spend more time looking at their behaviour.” The spaniard added.