Fernando Alonso has declared the Ferrari F10 the best car he has ever driven, and says the team is yet to show what it can really do.
Ferrari was quickest throughout the first test of the winter at Valencia two weeks ago, but has kept a lower profile during the past fortnight at Jerez. However, Alonso has set some eye-catching times on long runs, and he ended this week's test full of confidence.
"There are no reasons to be pessimistic," the double champion told Spanish media. "As of today, this is the best car I've ever had."
Having taken over from teammate Felipe Massa on Friday, Alonso enjoyed the best of the weather at Jerez this week, and was able to accumulate plenty of mileage, logging 269 laps over the past two days.
"The two days that I tested it was sunny and the track was dry and I could work more than I thought so I'm very happy," he said. "We have done a good job in terms of reliability and long runs."
Alonso said he was not underestimating Ferrari's rivals, but warned them that the Italian squad had not displayed its real potential yet.
"Red Bull, McLaren and Renault have been very quick and they have shown their cards, while we are still hiding ours," he said. "We are going to analyze the data, but we are very optimistic. As of today, if I were in a different team I would be looking at Ferrari because everything is going very well.
"Maybe where Ferrari needs to improve is in the short runs with little fuel on board. That's where the Red Bull and the McLaren have been quicker, and they will be the reference to try and improve the F10 in the next test in Barcelona."
The Spaniard's declaration comes after McLaren's Jenson Button said that he also reckoned Ferrari could be the team to beat.
"I think the Ferrari is a very strong car," Button said yesterday. "If you look at their runs today, they're very consistent. I think they have better consistency than anyone at the moment."