Fer­rari to re­main a force

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

SPA­NIARD Fer­nando Alonso has de­clared Fer­rari the most re­li­able For­mula One team head­ing into Sun­day’s sea­son-open­ing Aus­tralian Grand Prix.

While ac­knowl­edg­ing Red Bull are favourites and sur­prises are likely, the dual world cham­pion has backed Fer­rari af­ter one of their best test­ing pe­ri­ods.

‘‘ We’ve had a very sea­son,’’ Alonso said.

‘‘ We’re the team that’s driven the most and that has had the fewest prob­lems in terms of re­li­a­bil­ity.

‘‘ In terms of our com­pet­i­tive­ness, we’ll have to wait un­til Aus­tralia.

‘‘ McLaren will be in there again at the end. It seems that Mercedes have im­proved. And Red Bull and Fer­rari will be at the front.’’

Alonso, run­ner-up to Red Bull’s Se­bas­tian Vet­tel in last year’s cham­pi­onship, says Vet­tel and Aus­tralian Mark Web­ber are ‘‘ the two favourites, in the­ory’’.

But he ex­pects he and Brazil­ian team­mate Felipe Massa to be on the pace.

‘‘ Over­all, I think we will ar­rive in Mel­bourne in 100 per cent state of

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