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Alonso pleased with positive start

Fernando Alonso, FerrariFernando Alonso says there are several reasons to be positive about the Scuderia's performance, having delighted his home fans by topping the second practice session in Valencia.

It was a promising opening day for Ferrari, as Alonso finished third fastest in free practice one and Massa placed inside the top six in both sessions.

And while Alonso admitted there was a need to remain realistic, he was nevertheless pleased with both his and team's progress on the opening day of what is his second home race of 2011.

"Overall, a positive start to this Valencia weekend," Alonso declared. "We got through all our planned programme, working mainly on tyres and looking for the limits and thereby improving performance.

"The track characteristics are well suited to our car and the car seems to handle well, therefore we can tackle qualifying with confidence, aware that we are up against very strong rivals."

Alonso did however explain that it was too early too make predictions for the weekend, particularly given the multitude of settings and programmes each team typically runs during the opening practice sessions.

"In FP1 and FP2 you try so many things and the track changes very quickly, so it is really impossible to make predictions. Already in the past we have gone well on the first day only to see ourselves losing out by a second in qualifying, therefore it is too early to say where we are compared to the others.

"It's not by chance that red Bull have always taken pole in the first seven races of the year and clearly they are still the favourites. Overtaking will be easier here than in Monaco, but grid position will nevertheless be important."

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