Fernando Alonso says his Ferrari team will not have a clear strategy for the Australian Grand Prix, the Spaniard insisting it will be crucial to be flexible.
Alonso, who posted the third quickest time in today's practice session, said it was impossible to predict the behavior of Pirelli's tires for the race, which is why he is adamant that keeping an open mind about the strategy for the race is very important. He feels that unlike in previous years, knowing how the tire will degrade on Sunday is now impossible.
"That is something that will remain unknown until Sunday afternoon," said Alonso of the tires on Friday. "Not only here, but in all the races in all of the championship.
"In the test we saw high degradation on the tires, but circuit to circuit it will depend because there are different asphalts, different energy into the tires in all the circuits on the calendar, different track temperatures that we will face around the championship and it is impossible to say now we will do two stops, in Malaysia four and China three. There is no possibility to do that. We will go weekend by weekend.
"Also I think from Friday you normally see one kind of degradation that from Sunday is different, the track has a little bit more rubber and there are other categories that help the tire well, so we will see. We have some good information today but on Sunday it will depend, and it will be in our hands to change the strategy.
"We will not have a clear strategy before the race. We will remain very open. We have fuel for the whole race so there is no panic to prepare any lap to stop. When the tires are finished we stop, if the tires keep going well we don't stop, so it will be the same for everybody."
The Spaniard also suggested drivers would be happier with stronger tires, but conceded they had to accept that the rubber is designed to improve the show.
"I think they have a very clear direction," he said of Pirelli. "They have been working with that tire for a clear objective which is to make the tire degradation a little bit higher, to see more pit stops and more show and there was the intention last winter, or the end of last winter, the indications from the FIA and they achieved that.
"I think the tire had a bigger degradation. At the same time, the grip level in the last lap is quite good, quite high and the timed laps are quite competitive regarding the double diffuser loss, so I think they work quite well.
"Obviously, from a driver's point of view we want the best tire possible, and we could ask for maybe a better warm-up for the harder tires that normally is difficult. Normally you need a lot of laps to make the temperature come and when the temperature is coming there is no more rubber on the tires, so there are some difficulties there. Apart from that, the tires are working well and are the same for everybody so we need to get used to them."