Alonso: Ferrari on another planet to 2012
19 February 2013 – Fernando Alonso has echoed team-mate Felipe Massa's sentiments that Ferrari has started the year 'on another planet' compared to the 2012 season, with the Spaniard experiencing no such early handling issues at the wheel of the F138 chassis.
Marking his return to the cockpit with the third quickest time at the Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday, Alonso was left feeling 'reasonably pleased' with his day of driving duties.
"I feel reasonably pleased with this first day and I can say I share Felipe’s opinion that the car is on another planet compared to the one we began with on the first day of testing last year," said Alonso, who led the mileage stakes with a total of 110 laps. "The programme for this first session in Barcelona is aimed mainly at improving reliability, with the target of completing more than a hundred laps every day."
Alonso says performance work will not come until next week's test, which will be the final pre-season gathering before the teams pack up and head for Melbourne.
"At next week’s test we can concentrate on performance," he said. "Tomorrow, we will complete what we were unable to do today and we will focus on car set-up, to adapt it as well as possible to the tyres. I knew from looking at the Jerez data what sort of car I would find here, as in fact we know more or less what we will see at the first race, in terms of what new parts we will have and how many tenths they will produce."
Alonso will remain at the wheel of the F138 until Friday, when Massa takes over. The Spaniard skipped the entire Jerez test to focus on an intensive training regime.