Belgian GP: Fernando Alonso surprised by Ferrari F1 team's pace
|By Ben Anderson and Pablo Elizalde||Saturday, August 23rd 2014, 15:38 GMT|
Fernando Alonso admits he has been surprised by how strong his Ferrari Formula 1 team has been during the Belgian Grand Prix so far.
The Spaniard said ahead of the weekend that he expected the Maranello squad to struggle to match main rival Williams at Spa and in the following race at Monza given the power of the Mercedes engine.
However, Alonso qualified in fourth position on Saturday, two places ahead of the fastest Williams.
The Ferrari driver said his weekend has been perfect so far.
"It has been a good surprise," said Alonso of Ferrari's pace. "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, who finished second in the previous race in Hungary, believes another podium finish is a real possibility in Sunday's race.
"We'll see. I think the possibility is there, no doubt," said Alonso. "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."
Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen finished the session in eighth place and a full second behind Alonso.
The Finn admitted his final flying lap had been far from perfect.
"The car was pretty OK, but the conditions were quite difficult," Raikkonen said.
"I did quite a few mistakes in the last lap, I had to compromise my out-lap to get clear of traffic, so it was not the best way to start the lap and then I did some mistakes."