Fernando Alonso believes he can still fight for victory in the Belgian Grand Prix, so long as the forecasted dry weather holds true for Sunday.
The Ferrari driver qualified in an uncharacteristically low eighth position, which he blamed partly on traffic and difficulties getting heat into his Pirelli tyres. But the Spaniard says his car has the pace to fight his way to the front if conditions are warmer at Spa for the race.
"I expect a good recovery tomorrow," he said. "If it is dry in the race as the forecast says, I think we can recover some good positions, fight with the top teams. Why not? Because while in damp and cold conditions they have maybe an advantage, and can get heat in to the tyres for one timed lap, they have the disadvantage of degrading the tyres a lot.
"So tomorrow the race is very open for us, if we do a good start and a good recovery in the first couple of laps.
"In terms of strategy and race pace compared with recently maybe we are better than the others so it is still very open and we will try to get the maximum points."
Alonso added that the cold conditions are what scuppered his chances of being competitive in qualifying but that traffic was a key reason why he was four positions behind his team-mate Felipe Massa on the grid.
"Traffic was one of the factors because I did not complete a clean lap in Q3, but apart from that traffic we were not competitive to fight for the pole," he said. "In a normal Q3 with everything perfect maybe we were fourth or fifth, so never at the level of the top three.
"We are still missing some performance at these temperatures - we are running at 14 degrees on a damp track - fourth was what was possible for Ferrari.
"Without the cold conditions we could perform even better. It is no secret that we are not very happy with the cold conditions and that we are very happy with the hot conditions. Here for the fourth consecutive race we have damp and cold conditions and we are still waiting for the better temperatures.
"Dry is better for us. These weather conditions anything can happen - maybe we can recover more positions or whatever. If it is dry I think the car is competitive enough to be fighting at the front on a normal dry race."
Autosport has produced a standalone special magazine to celebrate our 70th birthday. All current print subscribers will receive a copy for free. To order your copy of the 196-page Autosport 70th Anniversary issue, please go to: autosport.com/autosport70th