Alonso downplays practice performance

Fernando Alonso has downplayed the significance of his quickest time in Thursday practice at Monaco, saying Red Bull is still the favourite for victory

Alonso downplays practice performance

"I think it's only Friday [Thursday], so we need to see," said Alonso, who finished the afternoon session on top of the times ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

"We see Red Bull on Fridays testing different things and then on Saturday they are very strong.

"I expect them to be very competitive in qualy and I think in five days things cannot change so much, so I expect Red Bull to be the favourite for qualifying and the race.

"But it's true also that this is a very unique venue, so anything can happen. There is no room for mistakes so there is also this factor."

The Ferrari driver, who was lapped in the Spanish Grand Prix last Sunday, said his car was making him feel confident around the streets of the principality.

"The car is responding well and here we know it's about confidence in the car," he said. "Having a good set-up that enables you to brake later, to go in the corner quicker.

"And at the moment the car is offering me that possibility so I'm happy, but obviously it's only Friday [Thursday] and we know on Saturday the stress and the pressure will increase and you need to have some margin and it's very easy to make a mistake."

The Spaniard also played down a close call during second practice, when he nearly crashed into the back of his team-mate Felipe Massa.

"I think it was not Felipe, it was the car in front. I think it was a McLaren slowing down every lap in the last corner. Felipe was slowing down because of a McLaren."

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