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Fernando Alonso has set his sights on securing a front row start for the Malaysian Grand Prix after a positive opening day at Sepang, with the Ferrari driver explaining that the F138 chassis is 'working well' in both dry and wet weather conditions.
The Spaniard, who finished the day fourth fastest, says a small set-up imbalance prevented him from making a bigger impression on the combined timesheets, but he remains confident of challenging at the front of the field in qualifying.
"Today, the car worked well in all conditions and that is very good news for us," Alonso commented. "This circuit is more representative than Australia for evaluating the car’s performance and so it was important to understand here today if the positive feelings from the winter were not just an illusion.
"On my lap on the Medium tyres, I did not have the right balance, otherwise I could have managed to improve, as I did on the Hards and I could probably have been on the 'front row.'"
Alonso went on to explain that there will be a crucial balancing act between qualifying and the race, with tyre degradation again proving to be a serious issue.
"With a high number of pit stops likely, a car that works better in the race than in qualifying could be an advantage," he added, having claimed victory at the venue last season. "However, tomorrow we will try and do our best to get a place on the front row, because, as usual, the start, strategy and pit-stops will hold the key."
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