Fernando Alonso believes that his hopes of finishing on the podium on home turf in Valencia should be boosted by the fact that his car is so good on its tires.
Although the F10's characteristics have sometimes led to he and teammate Felipe Massa struggling to get soft tires switched on in qualifying, the Spaniard is upbeat about how their plight could well be a help for the likely long stint on harder tires that are expected in Sunday's race.
"To get the maximum from the soft is difficult for us," said Alonso. "We need to improve in that area, but it is not the first time it has happened.
"Sometimes we feel more comfortable with the prime. And, in a way, it is an advantage for the race pace because when we have to do 40/50 laps with the prime tire, normally we are better than our competitors. We will try and exploit that more."
Although the upgrades that Ferrari brought to Valencia, including the blown diffuser, did not help the team overcome Red Bull Racing or McLaren, Alonso said he was still pleased with the situation the team found itself in.
"I think it is OK, I think it is what we expected," he said. "I think everyone did a big step, so there are teams like Mercedes out of Q2. That creates a picture of this championship – how interesting it is, and how much improved everybody is to see Mercedes out of Q2. So thanks to our improvements we are fourth and fifth.
"That is a fantastic result for the team. There were many races we were not fourth and fifth, we were struggling a lot, so hopefully tomorrow we have the possibility to be on the podium. But for sure we need to keep improving because half a second off Red Bull is too much. We need to keep improving."