Fernando Alonso says Ferrari's pace is the result of impressive car development rather than the off-throttle blown diffuser regulations after setting the second fastest time in practice for the German Grand Prix.

11060 - Pace is no miracle - Alonso

Alonso's victory at Silverstone two weeks ago came amid much debate over the off-throttle diffuser blowing, and the race was run to a different set of regulations from the rest of the season. However, Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa were competitive during both sessions on Friday at the Nurburgring to prove that the result was not a one-off, and Alonso said it didn't come as a surprise to him.

"A normal sort of Friday just like any other," Alonso said. "First impressions from the car are good, which confirms that we are working in the right direction. I've said it before; it's not a case of a miracle having happened at Silverstone, because of the regulations relating to the exhausts. That result was down to the many improvements introduced race after race, as could be seen from the fact that, even from Monaco, we had returned to a good level in terms of being competitive and here too, where we are back to the Valencia rules, we are at the front end of the field."

Alonso also said that the lower temperatures in Germany this weekend were playing in to the hands of Red Bull.

"In theory, the cold is not a friend to us: in these conditions, the Red Bull has even more of an edge, but it's up to us to adapt as well as possible to these conditions. On top of that, the low temperatures can also impact on our strategy for qualifying, given it's not easy to do a time right from the first timed lap. It if was to rain, the situation would be even more complicated."

After coming close to contact with Michael Schumacher late in the session, Alonso dismissed the incident, even joking that the near-miss was enjoyable.

"Nothing happened, maybe he didn't see me coming and then I had to brake suddenly. And then, on a Friday much like any other, a bit of excitement is quite welcome…"