Current Standings

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spain F1 2011 qualifying: Alonso done the perfect lap for second row grid

Fernando Alonso has hailed the qualifying lap that put him fourth on the grid for the Spanish GP as "perfect".

With Red Bull and McLaren dominating the weekend's running, it seemed that Alonso would be forced to settle for a place on the third row of the grid.

However, late in the third session of qualifying the Spaniard thrilled his home crowd by producing a lap just + 0.983 seconds slower than pole sitter Mark Webber and 0.032 seconds faster than Jenson Button's McLaren.

"I did a perfect lap: I reckon that if I tried to repeat it twenty times, I could not do better!" said a delighted Alonso.

"When you do a lap like that it's hard to put into words what one feels: always being on the limit, in every corner is a really special feeling for a driver.

"I am very happy with this result, because we have never made it to the second row this year. Sure, pole position is still a long way off: today, Red Bull was once again out of reach and we must work hard to try and get closer.

The 29-year-old was confident that Ferrari would be challenging for the top places on race day.

"So far, in the races we have gone better than in qualifying and so I think we can be in the fight for the podium here," he explained.

"It will be tough at the start because the McLarens always get off the line well and then they have one more new set of soft tyres than we do."

f1tot says...

That was one hell of a lap!!! Who says that he's not the best driver on grid? If anyone does, you are sadly mistaken.....

consulini says...

Alonso once again confirms he is one of the best. Even without finding a good set up for his car, he goes out there and manages to put in a perfect lap a snatch 4th place from Button and almost 3rd from Hammi baby. The guy is like a machine, he could have made a mistake on turn 10 and have a big flat spot on his tyre. But he didn't. PERFECT.

atec_racer says...

It has been suggested on here by a few that Ferrari only got rid of Raikkonen, to get Alonso because he came with Santander money. Suggesting that Alonso offered no more as a driver, than Kimi. To those few - still convinced of that ?. Oh well, have an ice cream anyway.

johnnyz says...

Sadly, Massa just hasn't been the same since his horrible accident. Too bad. Felipe was very close in 2008, even won more races than Hamilton. He just doesn't have It anymore.

chylout says...

Well that's depressing. You rarely hear a driver talk about a perfect lap yet he's a second off webber. Well done fernando for such a good lap. What could alonso or Hamilton do in that red bull I wonder?

illeone says...

Forza Alonso! Forza Ferrari!! It takes someone truly specila to do what Alonso does. There are only but a handful of drivers in history with the kind of focus it takes to produce when the pressure is on. He rarely makes mistakes and he is doubel world champion. I hope Ferrari gives him a better car in the coming races...Alonso deserves to have the best at his disposal!!!

johnnyz says...

Great lap. Fernando just seems to extrapolate something extra from the car. Unless something catastrophic happens at the start, Red Bull look certain to dominate again. Could be a nice fight for 3rd with Alonso, Hamilton and Button.

ucfbeta92 says...

When it comes to the Ferrari drivers, I'm a big fan of Massa and generally don't care much for Alonso, BUT, at times like this, I just have to admit that Alonso has that extra ounce.. of talent, willpower, or mental toughness. It was an awesome lap. Massa has the speed, but I think he has serious confidence issues going on, while Alonso is on a high.

rossi says...

I know how he feels lol I tried to match their pace on f1 2010 and out of 27 laps I only got one great lap and it felt great hit every apex and

**alonso, u will be champion with me....

Alonso expects podium fight

Fernando Alonso says that he thinks Ferrari has got a better chance of fighting for a podium place in the Spanish Grand Prix than it did when it arrived in Turkey.

Alonso finished third in Turkey after a race-long battle with Mark Webber, securing his first podium of the season as a result. After testing a lot of new parts on the Ferrari during practice at the Circuit de Catalunya, Alonso said that he felt the team could get closer to both Red Bull and McLaren in race trim.

"We tried a lot of new things today and now we must extrapolate the information from all this work and select the best parts to put on the car for tomorrow," Alonso said. "My first impression is favourable: I think we have made a step forward. It is always difficult to judge the gaps in free practice because there are always differences between one car and the next. I am certainly not surprised that the Red Bulls are still ahead of everyone: at the moment they are fastest and tracks like this one, or Budapest are particularly well suited to their characteristics.

"Having said that, while it's true it might be difficult to beat them in qualifying, maybe in the race we can get closer, also to the McLarens and put them under pressure. We still have to work on the set-up: today we had too many things to test and we did not have time to make too many changes. I think the chances of fighting for a podium finish are even more likely here than they were in Turkey."

Alonso also said that the new hard compound introduced by Pirelli was likely to firce the team to use soft tyres in the first qualifying session, and would see a lot of pit stops.

"The tyres? Pirelli has brought a new type of "hard" and it's hard to imagine we can get through Q1 without having to resort to using the "softs." One thing we had already seen in winter testing and which has been confirmed today is that degradation is pretty significant and so there is cause to expect a race like the one in Istanbul in terms of the number of pit stops."