However, the Spaniard ended the day with a big smile on his face, as he reckoned the little running he did in Day 1, with his afternoon session being affected by a hydraulic problem with his 150 Italia, gave him the impression that tires get up to operating temperature faster than in Australia and Malaysia.
In fact, this is believed to be the main reason why Ferrari has performed so poorly in qualifying this year, as compared to race pace (that sees Alonso score lap times just as competitive as rivals McLaren and Red Bull): the fact that Pirelli's hard compound took a great deal of time to reach the optimum temperature for a competitive running.
In China however, Alonso told the media that he noticed some clear improvements in that area, and expects things to progress even further on Saturday.
“In Australia it was a problem with the warm-up, even in Malaysia with the hard tire the first lap was not the quickest with the hard, but for whatever reason here it was okay,” admitted Alonso. “For Felipe and me we found better warm-up in the hard tires here than the other two races, so should be good for us in terms of qualifying and the race, for sure.”
While clearly not optimistic enough to predict a race win on Sunday, the 2-time world champion insisted that certain racing circumstances might work in Ferrari's favor during race day, and refused to rule out a potential 25 points in his pocket at the end of the weekend.
“This is F1. This is unpredictable sport so anything can happen in Sunday's race,” he added, while admitting that “there are other drivers with more possibilities, to be honest, because I think Red Bull is still a little bit quicker than us. McLaren is a little bit quicker than us so they should be more favourites, but we will try to do the best we can, and if for any reason we can fight for the victory then be sure we will go for it.”