Alonso: “Answers in 24 Hours.”
On the day before he takes to the track to start his fourteenth season in Formula 1, his fifth with the Scuderia, Fernando Alonso was on the panel of the first FIA press conference of the season.
The double world champion was cautious when asked how the F14 T would perform. “It’s still very difficult to say how competitive we are at the moment,” he said. “The answers will come in 24 or 48 hours, when we will know a little bit more than we do now. We are learning and developing the car every day that we work on it. It’s a little bit of an unknown situation and we just need to put everything together and maximise what we have and then we will see where we are.”
Changes have just been announced to the format of Qualifying, the idea being to make it more exciting for spectators and to prevent drivers not running in Q3. Drivers must now start the race with the tyres on which they set their best time in Q2. Fernando did not see this producing a big change. “It will not be a huge difference. In the past, there were cars that did only one lap or did not run in Q3, so now we will see an extra lap from everybody, but it does not mean a huge change in the approach to qualifying. This change is welcome if we see more cars on track.” The rules also state that a driver will have an additional set of the softer tyres available for Q3 and the man from Oviedo was in favour of this. “Many times I arrived in Q3 with no new sets of tyres, so now I’m happy.”
All the drivers on the panel were asked how different their cars would be here in Australia compared to the final day of the Bahrain test and the conference moderator said he’d seen Pat Fry (the Scuderia’s Engineering Director) pushing boxes of parts through Melbourne Airport. “Oh, I don’t think it’s for the car, maybe it was food,” joked Fernando. As to how many cars would see the chequered flag, he offered up the number 16, a more optimistic figure than his fellow panellists.
Source: Ferrari Media