Feb.13 (GMM) Fernando Alonso managed to brighten Ferrari's spirits before the opening test of the 2012 test concluded.
His best time in Friday's proceedings was set with soft tyres and still shy of the promising Lotus' earlier pace, but it nonetheless triggered sighs of relief within the Maranello ranks after a troubled early start.
"At the beginning of the test we had arrived and put our wheels on the ground and were slower than we expected," Alonso is quoted by Italy's Autosprint.
"We had to change the way we were working with the car and we are still learning; we will come to Barcelona more prepared."
"In four days we went from black to white," Alonso is quoted in Spanish by El Mundo, "but we still have a lot of work to do, particularly on the reliability."
He is quoted by AS newspaper: "Where will we be in Melbourne? No idea.
"From what we have seen so far, the highlight of the car is that it heats up the tyres so that you can use them to the maximum from the first lap, which is something we could not do last season.
"We still have much to do in the area of the aerodynamics and, above all, the reliability."
Unfortunately there are only two more tests, which is one less than last year
Alonso - like Ferrari in general - is a regular critic of F1's testing limitations and he admitted it may be a factor in getting the all-new F2012 ready for Melbourne.
"Unfortunately there are only two more tests, which is one less than last year. At Montmelo (Barcelona) we need to be doing at least 100 laps (per day).
"At the moment we are at maybe 20 per cent of what we need to do (before the season) overall."