Alonso: Top five teams very close together
14 March 2013 – Fernando Alonso believes five teams will be in with a chance of claiming victory at this weekend’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix, explaining that it is ‘very difficult’ to make a prediction as to who holds the overall advantage after winter testing.
The Spaniard, who narrowly missed out on the 2012 title, does not expect to witness the same level of surprises as last year, but admits the pecking order is up in the air.
"No one knows who can win this race at the moment," Alonso explained during Thursday’s press conference in Melbourne. "We have to wait and see for answers to some questions that winter testing doesn’t answer. I think there are top teams with a little bit of advantage. I think this year with the consistency in the rules I expect the five top teams to have a little advantage and not to have many, many surprises in the first races.
"But from these five top teams I think it’s very difficult to see after winter testing who has this extra two or three-tenths that can make you win. At the moment I think it’s very close and very difficult to choose one favourite. I think Mercedes, McLaren, Lotus, Ferrari and Red Bull show up some potential in different days in testing and different parts of races last year. I think it’s difficult to choose."
Alonso has scored points from ten of his 11 visits to Melbourne, including victory in 2006. His only result outside of the top ten came in his debut year with Minardi.