Fernando Alonso has described Ferrari’s pace in Belgium so far this weekend as a “good surprise”.
Mercedes locked out the front row of the grid in qualifying, as expected, with Sebastian Vettel third, but Alonso wasn’t too far behind the German as his time of 2:07.786 was just 0.069s slower than that of the Red Bull driver.
“It has been a good surprise,” the Spaniard is quoted as saying by Autosport. “We’ll see how we can finish it tomorrow. Hopefully we take some good points.
“We expected a strong Williams here, but I think the wet masked their true pace a little bit so tomorrow maybe I expect them to be very competitive in the dry.
“I’m in front of the Williams, I’m one second in front of my team-mate, who has won here four times, so definitely it has been a perfect weekend so far.”
Alonso claimed a surprise podium before the summer break in Hungary and he is hoping to be fighting for another top-three finish come Sunday.
“We’ll see. I think the possibility is there, no doubt,” he said. “I think we are in a good position with fourth.
“We have some people around us with good race pace, like [Daniel] Ricciardo and the Williams, and we’ll need to fight hard to be on the podium.
“But we know that Mercedes has had some mechanical problems in the last races so we need to be there to take any opportunities.”