Encouraged Alonso plays down practice times
14 March 2014 – A positive Fernando Alonso played down the importance of practice times ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.
The Spaniard topped the first session of the new season and finished in third place during the second session, behind only the Mercedes drivers.
"On the first Friday of the season, there’s always a bit more tension," said the Ferrari driver. "Overall, this was a positive day for us and even if there was an element of nervousness because of the complexity introduced by the new technical regulations, everything went well.
"The team did a super job and we had no problems. It’s impossible to have a clear idea of how competitive we are, because as usual, Friday results don’t mean much. To know more, we must wait until everyone is running in the same trim."
Team-mate Kimi Räikkönen lost some time during the first session and also encountered a gear selection issue when he attempted a practice start in the second session. He was ninth and seventh fastest in the two sessions.
"That was a pretty demanding day, because although we managed to complete our programme, it wasn’t trouble-free," he said.
"In the first session we lost a bit of time, but that didn’t prevent us acquiring enough data to evaluate the overall handling of the car and the Pirelli compounds. This evening there will be a lot of work to do, especially to understand what didn’t work and to try and improve for qualifying and the race."