Alonso confident of fighting for victory
11 May 2013 – Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso remains confident of fighting for victory during the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon, with the two-time World Champion admitting that the team’s deficit in qualifying did not come as a major surprise.
Alonso, who set a time half a second slower than pole-sitter Nico Rosberg en route to fifth on the grid, reckons his race pace is a match for, if not better than, his main rivals.
"The car is not as quick as the others over one-lap," he said. "But on the long-runs it's as quick as the others, or even better. That is our strong point and we need to take every opportunity that comes our way tomorrow. We need to be optimistic and try to be on the podium, or even something better. We have the car to do a good race."
Alonso reckons Mercedes duo Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are likely to struggle with tyre degradation again, tipping Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen as key threats.
"Every race is unique," Alonso explained. "But if you look at this championship, we can see that Mercedes is struggling a lot in the races. Kimi and Sebastian may be more of a target for the race itself than the Mercedes cars. Also, in the championship, Sebastian is first and Kimi is second. It would be nice to finish the race in front of them. I think if you finish in front of them, you will be very close to victory here."
Felipe Massa will start from ninth in the sister Ferrari after picking up a three-place grid penalty for impeding Red Bull rival Mark Webber in the second qualifying phase.