Alonso: I could have got pole

By on Saturday, September 8, 2012

Photo credit: Ferrari S.p.A.

Mechanical failure disrupted Fernando Alonso’s qualifying session, leaving the Championship leader tenth on the grid.

Alonso’s Ferrari has been quickest in both Q1 and Q2 and look set to take on the strong McLarens in the final qualifying session, before a broken rear roll bar put the two-times Monza winner out of contention. Alonso attempted a qualifying run in the damaged car but was half a second slower than the Sauber of ninth-placed man Kamui Kobayashi. It was not the afternoon expected from the double World Champion, who has been consistently near the top of the timesheets all through the practice sessions.

“I think I could have got pole today, but instead I find myself tenth. A real shame, because the car was very strong, but these things happen,” said a rueful Alonso. “The problem will be fixed for tomorrow, but of course this result changes everything as far as the race is concerned: we had the chance to increase our lead over our closest rivals, but now, it’s likely that at least some of them will make up ground on me.”

Alonso came back from the summer break with a 40-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship. His first-lap exit from the Belgian Grand Prix cut that to 24 points. He does, however, have the small consolation of seeing his closest rivals, the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, are starting only fifth and 11th. “Tomorrow, we will try and to pick up as many points as possible, maybe getting ahead of some of my direct competitors,” continued Alonso. “We have to accept that problems like these can occur even if, when it does happen, the first reaction is disappointment. Having said that, it’s a case of better Saturday than Sunday, because then, you have no chance of remedying the situation!”

Like the La Source hairpin last weekend, the first turn into the Rettifilo chicane has a history of first lap incident. Starting tenth Alonso is potentially in the worst place should there be a collision – but the Spaniard brushed off the concern: “Risks starting in the middle of the pack? Given how the points table looks, it’s more a case of the others having to worry about coming away with another no score…”

Source: FIA

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