Fernando Alonso is reserving his judgment on the performance of the updated Ferrari despite topping the times on Friday at Valencia.
The Italian squad is bringing significant changes to its F10 in the hope of taking a step forward, and Alonso started the weekend in perfect fashion after finishing as quickest in the second practice session. But the Spanish driver said it was too early to judge Ferrari's performance and refused to get carried away.
"It's been 15 days from Canada to here and it's a different track with different characteristics, so it's difficult to know exactly what was the improvement of the car, so we'll wait for tomorrow to see if we are really more competitive or not," Alonso told reporters in Valencia. "Sometimes we've been very quick on Friday. We were P1 last year here and then P8 on Saturday, so the job we have to do is tomorrow and Sunday. Today is just free practice to analyze some new components on the car and evaluate the tires. So we'll see tomorrow."
Although Alonso is confident Ferrari will be strong during the weekend, he admitted he is not expecting to leapfrog any rivals, despite the updated car.
"The car was good today, but it was good also in Canada," he said. "I think when you try to find a difference between one circuit and another, it is difficult to compare the small differences. We'll just try to concentrate on tomorrow's job, trying to get a good qualifying. I think the potential is there.
"I think we can be competitive here tomorrow, but it's never going to be easy. Red Bull is very strong, McLaren is very strong. I think we have all brought something here so it's just a matter of doing a good job tomorrow. Everything is more or less as it was in Canada. We've all improved, so we all stay the same."
Teammate Felipe Massa was also optimistic about Ferrari's form after finishing in seventh position in the afternoon session.
"I'm quite convinced that we have improved. It's very difficult to say," he said. "What I can say is that the car is competitive. It's important to fight so I hope that we can be strong tomorrow, fighting. I'm happy with the car today."