Fernando Alonso has shrugged off Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa’s recent qualifying superiority despite failing to join the Brazilian in Q3 in Abu Dhabi.
Alonso had outqualified Massa for 80 percent of their time as Ferrari team-mates before the start of this season but the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying result was the fifth time in the last six races that Massa had been the quicker man on Saturday.
The Ferrari qualifying battle through the 2013 season is 9-8 in Alonso’s favor, but the two-time world champion emphasized his dominant race record was the more significant comparison. Alonso has beaten Massa in every grand prix this year until India last weekend, where he was delayed in first-lap collisions.
“I think we need to see how everything goes at the end of the weekend,” said Alonso, who will start three places behind Massa in 11th at Yas Marina. “It’s not only about qualifying. There are many things you can do for qualifying that make the car quicker and then in the race you’re slower. To take a conclusion from qualifying is a little bit difficult.
“In the last three or four races it was Felipe in front of me in qualifying, but in those races I finished in front and I have a lot more points. Saturdays are good for the show and for talking but the points are on Sundays.”
Having struggled to match Alonso for much of their time together at Ferrari, Massa admitted that he was pleased the qualifying fight was now so close. But he conceded that Alonso still had the better race record, having outscored him by 207 points to 102 so far this season.
“I’m just trying to use the car in the best way possible for qualifying,” said Massa. “For sure it’s not the same in the races. In some of the races I didn’t finish in the position I was supposed to. But the situation is very competitive. I have no trouble getting the best out of the car.”