Alonso targets front row

Friday 22-March-2013 12:52

Fernando Alonso was there or thereabouts when it came to the pace-setters during practice in Malaysia on Friday and he is hoping it is a sign of what will happen in qualifying.

Red Bull topped FP1 on Friday through Mark Webber while Australian Grand Prix winner Kimi Raikkonen from Lotus was fastest later in the afternoon. However, Alonso was within half a second of the leaders in both sessions.

The Ferrari driver, who finished second behind Raikkonen in Melbourne, believes the team had a good outing on Friday.

"Today, the car worked well in all conditions and that is very good news for us," the Spaniard said. "This circuit is more representative than Australia for evaluating the car's performance and so it was important to understand here today if the positive feelings from the winter were not just an illusion.

"On my lap on the medium tyres, I did not have the right balance, otherwise I could have managed to improve, as I did on the hards and I could probably have been on the 'front row'."

The Malaysian GP can often be a lottery as the weather can go from bright sunshine to thundershowers in the space of a few hours and the double World Champion knows the importance of qualifying as high up the grid as possible.

"Now we must see how tomorrow goes, when it could rain at any moment and on a track where tyre degradation is much higher than in Melbourne," he said.

"With a high number of pit stops likely, a car that works better in the race than in qualifying could be an advantage. However, tomorrow we will try and do our best to get a place on the front row, because, as usual, the start, strategy and pit stops will hold the key."

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