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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."

Friday, May 20, 2011

Alonso contracts with Ferrari until end of 2016

Fernando Alonso signing a new contract with Ferrari team until the end of 2016.

Alonso joined Ferrari in 2010 after a difficult two years at Renault and a crazy time at McLaren in 2007. He came within four points of the title in 2010 with Ferrari and, despite a slow start to 2011, expects to see out his career at Maranello.

He said, "I am very happy to have reached this agreement,". "I felt comfortable within Ferrari and now it feels to me like a second family. I have the utmost faith in the guys who work in Maranello and in those who lead them: it is therefore natural for me to decide to extend my relationship in the long term like this, with a team at which I will no doubt end my Formula One career one day."

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said he was delighted to have the two-time world champion onboard.

"It is a great pleasure to have renewed our agreement with a driver who has always demonstrated a winning mentality even in the most difficult circumstances," he said. "Fernando has all the required qualities, both technically and personally to play a leading role in the history of Ferrari and I hope he will be enriching it with further wins very soon."

User comment:
Posted by Greg Gavalas on (May 20 2011, 09:26 AM GMT)
Dam, was hoping he would come back to Renault one day

Posted by Tony Lau on (May 20 2011, 01:59 AM GMT)
it will be great for the team and it's team members. All they need to do is to focus on what they doing best, not worrying about where the driver will be headed next season so forth. Stability will always be the success of a great team.

Posted by Sujit Jiandani on (May 19 2011, 18:48 PM GMT)
The show is going to be big...this is itttttttttttt....I wont be surprised to see FLAVIO BRIATORE Comeback as team principal with ferrari in 2013....this is the biggest sign extending Alonso's contract...cheers....

Posted by Haroon Beg on (May 19 2011, 18:26 PM GMT)
Michael Schumacher is to Ferrari like Michael Jordan is to the Bulls, Alonso is the best driver in the field I feel, given a car that can compete, he will blow the red bulls away

Posted by Curtis Osinchuk on (May 19 2011, 13:22 PM GMT)
Wonderful, I never was that big of a Ferrari fan, but this changes everything. Go Fernando.

Posted by Jie Fulay on (May 19 2011, 12:29 PM GMT)
Ferrari must hire back raikonnen and dyer to become champion again and stefano should go he is not good motivator.....come on guys be a true Ferrari.

Posted by Ricky Chambers on (May 19 2011, 12:17 PM GMT)
I dont see him staying there until 2016. He will leave them sooner probably arguing with people at Maranello about poor performances or about if someone stronger than him joins there (remember Mclaren 2007 he left because of having to fight his team mate)

Posted by Hitendr Vasudeo on (May 19 2011, 09:20 AM GMT)
I am happy to see alonso committing till 2016. i hope ferrai provides him the car. or changes the rules of the game to suit ferrari. during michael erra. rules also suited to ferrari. if they want to have any dominance hence forth

Posted by Erik Hagberg on (May 19 2011, 09:00 AM GMT)
Now here is some news! I cannot waitttt until Fernando starts winning races again once Ferrari gets their operation together (and gives Fernando the opportunity to challenge for the driver's championship). Sadly, I feel this may not start happening for another season. :(

Posted by Herbert C. Pionilla on (May 19 2011, 08:21 AM GMT)
so you wanna be like mike