Alonso pleased with sixth
"All things considered, sixth place is not to be sneered at, far from it"
Fernando Alonso admitted he is pleased with a sixth-place berth on the grid for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix, saying that just getting into Q3 had been an achievement for Ferrari.
“We were expecting a very difficult qualifying and so it was,” he said. “We saw at least eight cars – two McLarens, two Force Indias, two Red Bulls and the Lotus guys – running very competitively and therefore, just getting to Q3 was in itself a difficult target to reach. We did it and we also managed to slightly improve the handling of the car in the final part, working on the tyre pressures and the front wing.”
However, he admitted that once through to the top-10 shoot-out he had not been able to put in a clean lap.
“We definitely didn’t get a perfect lap: we lost a handful of tenths in a few corners,” he said. “The wind was stronger than this morning and I think that took everyone a bit by surprise. All things considered, sixth place is not to be sneered at, far from it.
“It’s true that overtaking is definitely not easy here, but tomorrow, it might yet rain and we know that can change everything.”
Team-mate Felipe Massa, meanwhile, continued his recovery with a fourth top-10 grid slot in six races, after failing to make Q3 at the first five events of the season. Despite that the Brazilian reckoned it had been far from an ideal session, pointing to poorer times in Q3 than the second session as evidence of the teams struggles.
“Not an easy qualifying for the team. Both Fernando and myself struggled to put together a perfect lap, which can be seen from the fact we were quicker in Q2 than Q3,” he said. “A shame, because in Q2, I had done a good time and I was expecting to improve further, but unfortunately, I was slower. I suddenly had less grip and a lot of oversteer, so now we must find out why. It will be very hot tomorrow and it could also rain, so we will need to be on top of whatever situation arises.”
Massa insisted, however, that a podium place is still up for grabs.
“We will need to study carefully the little data we have relating to tyre behaviour. From the little we could see, there is a definite degradation with the Softs, which could make itself felt even more with a full fuel load,” he said. “I think we are still in with a chance of fighting for a podium finish, even if we are up against very strong opposition.”