MONTREAL, June 11, 2011 (AFP) - Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were delighted with the improved performance of their Ferraris after qualifying second and third respectively for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix.
The duo narrowly lost out to pace-setter Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, but were nonetheless encouraged by the pace of their cars.
Alonso admitted he was surprised by how close he had come to challenging Vettel, who has looked untouchable during qualifying this season, securing six pole positions from the opening seven races.
"We are two tenths, 1.5 tenths behind Red Bull," said the former double world champion.
"That is a much better result than we expected and a much better result than the first six races."
"We are happy with the performance of the car, it has been very smooth the whole weekend and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
"The car felt competitive from yesterday and today. It is a good feeling being back to the top positions, close to fighting for pole, and having Felipe in the top three too is a nice team result."
However, Alonso refused to get carried away and warned that McLaren should not be underestimated.
Massa was also delighted to have secured third place on the grid and is hoping for an equally strong performance during the race.
"It was a good qualifying for us straight away," he said. "It looks like we are competitive compared to other teams who were in front of us before, like McLaren.
"We have seen that our car is competitive and that we're much closer to Red Bull, compared to previous races, so it was a good qualifying, a good day for us. We need to be ready and we hope we can have a good day tomorrow as well."