Alonso positive after strong Qatar quali for Alpine

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A521. 20.11.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Qatar Grand Prix, Doha, Qatar
ยฉ XPB 

The Alpine team was looking conspicuously on form in qualifying for the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix, with both drivers comfortably making it into the final top ten pole shoot-out round at the Losail International Circuit.

Fernando Alonso finished the evening session in fifth place putting him just behind AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly on the grid. His team mate Esteban Ocon will line up in ninth alongside Yuki Tsunoda.

"The whole weekend has been positive for us," Alonso said after the end of the final round of qualifying. "The car felt strong in all sessions and seems to enjoy the high-speed corners here.

"I told the team if they gave me enough fuel, I would be driving all night long and I would wait for them here tomorrow morning!

"It seems some circuits are better than others for our package, and Qatar seems to be one of those," he continued. "We need to study why we miss this performance in other circuits.

"But the points are scored tomorrow, so we need to maximise our starting slot," he cautioned.

"We start on the clean side of the grid and there are a few different tyre strategies for us to be aware. We have some question marks, but itโ€™s better to solve these from fifth.โ€

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A521. 20.11.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Qatar Grand Prix, Doha, Qatar

"Fernando was very happy with his car and his impressive first lap in Q3 allowed him to secure fifth position on the grid," noted Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski, who said it was looking good in terms of their fight with AlphaTauri in the team standings.

"With Fernando next to Pierre on the grid, and Esteban next to Yuki, it will make for an exciting race in the battle for fifth in the championship - so bring on the race!โ€

While Ocon was happy with the team's performance today, he couldn't hide his disappointment that he himself wasn't starting higher up the grid.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A521. 20.11.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Qatar Grand Prix, Doha, Qatar

โ€œAs a team itโ€™s a very positive qualifying result with both Fernando and I in Q3," he commented. "On my side, we missed a little bit today.

"We have some things to review to see where we were lacking and where we can improve," he acknowledged. "There was probably a little more left on the table today, as on my Q3 lap I went wide at Turn 1 trying to gain some time.

"Still, weโ€™re back in Q3, which is great," he added. "And we know points are given out on Sundays. Weโ€™re still in the fight, and we can battle hard tomorrow to deliver some points.โ€

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