Fernando Alonso says he would be surprised if anyone is capable of staying close to Red Bull Racing in the weekend's Turkish Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver, however, claimed that his team was looking better than two races ago thanks to the nature of the Istanbul circuit.
Alonso posted the fifth-fastest time in today's second practice, finishing behind the two McLarens and the two Red Bulls.
"Compared to the Spanish Grand Prix, I think the situation is a bit better, down to the fact the track characteristics are different and do not require the maximum aerodynamic downforce, but rather an intermediate level which is better suited to our car," said Alonso. "However, it would be a surprise if the Red Bulls were not ahead of everyone. We are thereabouts, behind them along with McLaren: that is my prediction.
"We tried some solutions for finding the best way to manage the blown rear wing system and have made some progress, even if it is not yet perfect. We will work on it for the upcoming races."
Teammate Felipe Massa finished down in 10th position after failing to set a time with the softer tyre compound following a spin. The Brazilian admitted Ferrari needed to improve in order to be a match for Red Bull and McLaren.
"I was not able to do a time on the soft tires because I ended up spinning on my first timed lap at turn 8," Massa said. "This was the most inconvenient factor today, as that set of tires was no longer useable and I had to do almost the entire second session on just one set of the harder-compound tires. The track improved from the morning, bit by bit as the cars did more laps, which is something to bear in mind for the rest of the weekend.
"We have to improve the car still further to be competitive: McLaren and Red Bull seem very strong here. Having said that, I think we can manage to find the right way to progress to take the fight to them."