Fernando Alonso has reacted cautiously to those predicting a stellar season for him in 2011.
Bernie Ecclestone and Mark Webber are reported to have tipped the Spaniard for title contention with the new F150 Ferrari, which was three tenths faster than reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel’s new Red Bull at the Valencia test on Wednesday.
“I have nothing to say about it,” Alonso told Spanish reporters when asked about the championship predictions.
“Expectations are naturally high but it’s the same for all the drivers with the big teams,” he said.
“What gives you some peace of mind is that you know that a bad year at Ferrari or McLaren will have you fifth, while at some other teams you might not be in Q3,” added Alonso.
“So that’s not something we have to worry about.
“I like the car but it’s too early to know if it’s good enough to win,” he said.
Alonso also tempered his earlier criticism of the Pirelli tyres, whilst many drivers are speaking about high degradation, inconsistency and handling problems.
“It is true that they degrade but it was worse on the first day,” said Alonso.
“We have made some setup changes that have helped us, while others have improved maybe less.
“The truth is that adapting the car to the tyres is one of the main challenges.”
He also dismissed reports that Renault’s new exhausts which exit near the sidepods is set to be the must-have innovation of 2011.
“There are new things with each team; Renault have that and the others have something else,” Alonso answered coyly.
© RIF | GMM