Alonso credits P3 in Chinese GP qualifying to parc fermé changes

© XPB 

Fernando Alonso says set-up changes ahead of qualifying allowed him to extract a bit more performance from his Aston Martin which he put to good use by setting the third fastest lap in Q3.

Contrary to last year, when teams were forced to lock in their settings after Friday’s single practice session on sprint weekends, the new schedule now permits teams to take their cars out of parc fermé after Saturday’s sprint and undertake changes before qualifying.

Alonso was in contention for a spot on the podium in today’s sprint event but was forced to retire after picking up a puncture.

Aston then made a few changes to the Spaniard’s set-up that the latter hopes will benefit him in Sunday’s race.

"I think the car did improve since this morning, we made a few set-up changes. Let's see tomorrow if we can translate that into good points," he explained.

"You cannot change the car completely because you are into the rhythm of the weekend, but you can still make some small setup changes.

“Some of them are just for balance problems, but some of them are just guesses that you do into tomorrow's race and you flip the coin.

"Until tomorrow afternoon we will not know the answer, but I'm extremely happy, proud of the team. We are not giving up. We are not in the position we want yet but we keep pushing."

Alonso revealed that he nearly aborted his final flyer in Q3 that put him on the second row of Sunday’s grid after losing time during the hot lap.

"In sector one I had a moment in Turn 1 and 2 and I nearly lost the car," Alonso said.

"And then I said: 'Okay, I keep going or I abort the lap? Because I lost like two tenths in two corners. But we didn't give up, we kept pushing all through the lap and set a good lap time."

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter