Melbourne, 17th, 2013 (F1plus/J. Polychronis).- Sunday morning’s running of Q2 and Q3 still featured the rain, albeit considerably less than what was seen on Saturday afternoon. Those that made it into Q3 were able experience a predominately dry session, in which a Red Bull lock-out unfolded. Slightly further down the field though, was the two vehicles of Scuderia Ferrari.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa qualified in 4th position with a time of 1:44:635, immediately preceded by tea-mate Fernando Alonso, who posted a time 0.2 seconds slower than Massa.
Massa expressed confidence at a media event on the Thursday, something which was echoed upon the completion of qualification.
“Starting in the top four in these conditions is also good, so let’s try to concentrate on the race now and try to finish this positive weekend.
I’m very motivated, happy and concentrated on a good season, especially now [we’ve had] a good start to the season.”
It has not been all smiles though for the Brazilian who made contact with barriers at turn 12 during the rain-soaked Q1 on Saturday.
“It was a big crash, it wasn’t a small one. I feel a little bit of pain in my muscles, so to carry on it was really a positive thing.”
5th place was a familiar qualifying position for Alonso during his time at Ferrari. What was unfamiliar however, was being out-performed by his team-mate, Massa. Nonetheless, Alonso seemed pleased with the result while addressing media in the pen upon Q3’s conclusion.
“It was good [the car’s handling]. – Now starting 4th and 5th is very good news for us after a very difficult start.
I’m much more optimistic [than last year] and much more positive about the season. It is true that we also need to be honest with ourselves knowing that Red Bull have started the season very strongly again, and we need to recover this gap very quickly.
Starting the race in 5th place is unlikely a daunting task for Alonso, considering he mastered starting from similar positions last year. Known assomewhat a starting specialist, it is no surprise that Alonso is upbeat. Itwould appear however, that in the 2013 season he has added competition. This competition of course, comes in the form of a re-born Massa.