Fernando Alonso says he isn’t fooled by comments that McLaren will be well off the pace come the season opening race in Australia.
The Woking-based squad haven’t looked too competitive during pre-season testing, primarily due to reliability issues which have limited their running.
The Ferrari driver disagrees, believeing McLaren will be on the pace of the leaders, competing for podiums in less than two weeks time.
“They’re better than they look,” the Spaniard told Spanish newspaper, El Pais. “Winter testing doesn’t explain anything.
“They say themselves they are expecting a little more, so perhaps they will be at a similar level to the best [in Australia] and then go on ahead.
“When we get there, we’ll see. McLaren are not going to be fighting for 10th place, but rather the podium.”
He also dismissed comments that the differing driving styles of former team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have made development of the MP4-26 difficult.
“I think not because Formula One is dominated by aerodynamics,” he explained. “For example, if a wind tunnel predicts a gain of a tenth of a second, that is valid for myself, [Felipe] Massa, Hamilton, Button and all the others, regardless of the driving style of each.”