Q. Was today better than expected?
Fernando Alonso: Not really. I think today has been a difficult day for everybody because the track conditions seem quite slower than one week ago in the test. Because (then) we were running easy 1:20s, and we are on 1:22s today, so we lost two seconds. But I think everybody lost two seconds. I'm sure that everybody is having problems with the balance and the grip of their cars. For us it is the same.
We found some big difficulties in terms of traction, and some oversteer in the car, that we didn't sort out through the sessions. So we still need to work tonight because we were not extremely happy with the car today.
Q. What do you put the change down to, is it a lack of grip on the circuit, or is it windier today?
FA: I think it is the lack of grip on the circuit, because the rubber that we put down last week was quite good. There were a few people running with the slick tyres that improved the track conditions quite dramatically as well. So I think after one week, especially with the rain here in Spain, the track is completely clean again and it was quite slippery.
But, you know, this will come to us during the weekend, and it will get better. But this will be the same for everybody, so we will have to sort out our problems faster than the others hopefully.
Q. Do you take any encouragement from where you are on the timesheets?
FA: No not really, because five minutes before those times we were position 15 so we cannot be confused about the position at the end of the day and we need to look more to the previous position - and P15 is not as we want it.
Q. Were you and Nelson on the same programme with the soft tyres when you recorded your 1:22s?
Q. Can you feel the difference in the updates and the changes to the car?
FA: Today, maybe not more, because we suffered through the grip on the track, but I think last week definitely we felt it and we are quite happy with the changes we introduced to the car. They make the car a little bit easier to drive and there is more performance on it. We got some quite clear results and definitely we are going in the right direction, but still we have a long way to go because it is difficult to make up the whole second that we are behind the winners. Step-by-step hopefully we can close that gap.
Q. Do you have the chance to fight for something more than the points or are they still your target here?
FA: They are still the target. It is similar to the first three races. In some of them we had some more problems than the others, and in some we were a little bit better. Here hopefully is one of the race that we are a little bit better than our opponents. And that will again be Red Bull, Williams and Toyota tomorrow to be in Q3 and I am fighting for the last couple of points.
Q. How long will it take to make this second to the leaders up? Can it be done this your or next year?
FA: I think this year will be very difficult, nearly impossible, because we have some aggressive programme of developments in the car and we are quite optimistic on the developing programme, but when you need to recover one second to teams like Ferrari and McLaren, they also develop so quickly during the season. It is not easy at all, so I think we will improve the car during the season a lot, but I think they will as well.
So maybe we are more looking to next year where the rules are changing quite a lot and then is the time to gain more time than the others.
Q. Do you look forward to Monaco as a place where we might be able to do something this year?
FA: Of course this is one of the races that you always cross off in the calendar, because it is one circuit where power, aerodynamics are not important and you maybe have a chance. But it is true as well, that you need a good traction at Monaco, which is one of the things that we lack in this car. And we also know that okay, Monaco is a special place, but normally the Monaco winner is one of the good guys as well. One of the winning cars. So you need a car anyway in Monaco, so I am looking forward to Monaco, but I have not put all my hopes in that race only.
Q. Looking at the general situation, with Ferrari pulling away from everybody is it going to be tighter between the others?
FA: We will see. It will be nice during qualifying tomorrow how the results will swing between Q1 and Q2. Because Friday we see one of the top three teams a little better than the other two, and then when we arrive to Q1 and Q2 the first six cars are always very close, normally one tenth. So we will see. I think Ferrari has better consistency in the long-run pace, it always seems that they take care of the tyres a little bit better to be so consistent. So they are more favourites for the race, but for pole position and the purest speed of the cars, we will have to wait until tomorrow to see. Maybe it is closer than it seems.