Alonso: Red Bull and McLaren still ahead
4 March 2013 – Fernando Alonso believes Red Bull and McLaren will remain ahead of Ferrari in terms of pure performance as the 2013 Formula 1 campaign gets underway, but he expects his team to 'be closer' to the front of the field than it was at the end of last season.
The two-time World Champion, who posted the second fastest time at the final pre-season test in Barcelona, says although it is extremely difficult to judge the overall pecking order, he expects his aforementioned rivals to continue as the pace-setters.
"It is difficult to judge rivals," said Alonso. "You cannot go to the training grounds of Barcelona football club and see if they will win Sunday's match because they are only warming up. We will see in Australia.
"We should not forget the goal we have, and we should not forget the 0.7 to 0.8 seconds gap that we had to the rest at the end of last year. But we can be closer to Red Bull and McLaren, who will be the strongest this season."
Despite a troubled pre-season phase, Alonso finished last year's Australian Grand Prix in fifth place. McLaren, which ultimately slipped behind Ferrari in the Constructors' standings as the season wore on, and Red Bull covered the top four positions.