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F1 NEWS 

Ferrari still unsure about progress after mixed weather keeps it guessing

Fernando Alonso Australia 2012Ferrari remains in the dark about the progress it has made since pre-season testing due to the mixed weather conditions on the first day of running for the Australian Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were both in the top 10 following a short spell of dry running at the end of the second practice session. However, Alonso believes that Ferrari are no closer to knowing if it has a better car than it did in testing.

"Not really," said Alonso when asked if he felt more comfortable with the car after free practice. "Overall a good Friday, but the feeling with the car didn't change too much.

"I think especially in FP2, with the conditions we had it is impossible to see the level of competitiveness.

"The car feels OK, we got some answers and a good feeling driving the car, but we had a good feeling during testing."

Ferrari technical director Pat Fry reiterated Alonso's claim that judging the performance of the car was still "impossible" heading into Saturday.

"Today was even harder than usual to interpret because of the weather, making it very difficult to work through the programme we had set ourselves," said Fry.

"Honestly, it's impossible to give any sort of assessment of the performance of the F2012 and on the prospects for this weekend. We too are very curious to know where we stand compared to the competition."

Alonso added that he expected a fraught battle in qualifying, with Red Bull and McLaren leading the way.

"I think the favourites are always the top teams, so Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes," he said. "But I think Sauber is also an interesting team in these first races, and Force India went quite well today.

"But I guess McLaren and Red Bull should be the ones [at the front]."

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