“I think we have been very competitive all weekend from the first session to qualifying,” Alonso said.
“The last two grands prix we didn’t have a chance to beat Ferrari under dry conditions and I think we can do it here.”
Hamilton rued a delay in the pits which he said cost him a chance to make another attempt at beating Alonso’s time.
“It is just good to be back here and on the top and get through qualifying. We had a hard weekend last race,” Hamilton said.
The rookie’s run of nine podium finishes in a row ended last week when he finished ninth.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, who has had four pole positions this season and the fastest time in Saturday morning’s practice, was well back in 14th with 1:21.021. But, he will still be confident he can turn in a good performance.
At the opening race of the season Massa started 16th and came in third before winning two of the next three races.
Last year’s winner, Jenson Button of Honda, failed to make it past the first portion of the three-tiered qualifying session. He was 17th and the slowest six are dropped after the first 15-minutes.
Ferrari and McLaren have won all 10 races this season, with Alonso and Raikkonen having three wins apiece, and Hamilton and Massa getting two each.
Alonso is hoping to use Sunday’s race to overtake Hamilton for first place in the season standings. He trails Hamilton 70-68 after his victory at the European Grand Prix on July 22 in Germany.
Massa has 59 points for third place, with Raikkonen in fourth with 52 points.
McLaren leads the constructor standings with 138 points to 111 for Ferrari. Sunday’s race will be 70 laps.