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Alonso not worried about Merc pace

Friday 21-February-2014 05:18

Fernando Alonso is not worried about Ferrari's form compared to the Mercedes teams but does concede the latter are looking "strong".

For the second day running a Mercedes-powered car set the pace during testing at Jerez as Kevin Magnussen replaced Nico Hulkenberg in the P1 position.

And the McLaren driver did so in style clocking a 1:34.910 on the day to beat Hulkenberg by 1.535s. Alonso was third quickest, a further tenth back.

"They are strong, no doubt," he said of Mercedes to Autosport.

"After Jerez and two days here, the Mercedes cars look to be performing in a strong position, but this is just a test.

"We don't really know how much fuel they really have, or the useage of the tyres, etc.

"So it's not a concern, not a worry.

"I think everyone will be on top of their problems more or less before Australia, so I expect the Mercedes engines will be strong in Australia, I expect Red Bull will also be strong in Australia, and Ferrari too.

"It will be a great competition."

The double World Champion had two solid days at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain, covering 64 laps on Day One and a further 97 on Thursday.

That was a good showing from the F14T as many teams are still struggling with the reliability of their new cars.

"We understand it better. Definitely every day it's a huge step in understanding the car, understanding the systems," added Alonso.

"We don't yet know everything in the car properly and all the things we have available.

"There are many things to discover and to get on top of and exploit in terms of performance as well. I think it's a big challenge for all the teams to be ready.

"I'm happy with how the team is doing. We did a good job during the winter. I think we are in good shape in terms of the amount of laps.

"I felt more comfortable straight away here in Bahrain and thanks to the simulator work everything is coming out automatically so hopefully we can concentrate on the performance, especially in the next test, which is the crucial one."

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