Alonso taken aback by his flying start

COMBINING a two-time world champion with the most famous team in motor racing was always going to be a potent mix, but Fernando Alonso insists he is surprised by just how well he has begun life at Ferrari.

The Spaniard leads the drivers’ standings after two races – a win in Bahrain followed by fourth place in Australia – and, despite lauding his new car pre-season, has been taken aback by his instant success.

“It’s been an incredible start to the season,” said Alonso. “I definitely didn’t think I’d be leading the championship after two races. This situation is way more than I had expected.”

Alonso is looking to maintain momentum at this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix. He became accustomed to the podium during his back-to-back title-winning seasons of 2005 and 2006, and is relishing having a formidable drive after two years of relative mediocrity at Renault.

“In Bahrain and Australia we showed we are competitive at the highest level,” he added.

“We can only be pleased and proud of what we have done so far, not just at the track, but also back at the factory over the winter.

“The F10 has proven to be very good, it’s an easy car to drive. It is reasonably easy to find a good set-up for any type of track.

“On top of that, it is very consistent, its handling doesn’t change much between qualifying and the race. Add in the factor that the car is not too hard on its tyres and that completes the package.”