Alonso admits Imola F1 weekend ‘basically over’ after Q1 exit

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Race day has yet to roll around but it's already a weekend to forget for Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Following a heavy crash during final practice on Saturday at Imola’s Rivazza complex that required extensive repairs, including a gearbox change, Alonso's qualifying session was another blow.

The Spaniard was out to improve his fortunes when a mishap at Tamburello just minutes into Q1 saw the Aston charger veer off course and into the gravel trap.

While he managed to rejoin the track and resume his efforts, he was later asked to box. Thereafter followed a delay that eventually deprived him of a final opportunity to make the Q2 cut.

The lack of clean running ultimately landed the F1 veteran in 19th place, ahead of only Williams' Logan Sargeant who had his times deleted for track limit violations.

Alonso was visibly disappointed by how the day had panned out, but his first words were for his Aston team to whom he paid tribute for their tireless efforts to get his car back in shape after his costly crash in FP3.

“The team was incredible today,” he said. “It was nice to witness that, the hours before qualifying, both teams together, Car 18 and Car 14 working flat out to put my car in qualifying.

“We managed to do so. So that was big thanks to everyone.

“Unfortunately, yeah, it was difficult to guess but we did fuel for the whole session, and then just doing some pit stops just to give me a little bit more laps into practice.

“And I set the best lap time in qualifying in the first attempt, and I think we have a lot of fuel in that moment of the session.

“And then the last attempt, when the car was lighter, we had to stop for an unknown problem that we had to box in the last attempt. All in all, one of those days, it’s not your day. The crash in FP3 and qualifying, not an easy one.”

Asked to assess his prospects for race day, Alonso cast a somber outlook, suggesting his weekend was as good as done on a track where overtaking is so challenging.

“Extremely tough. I think the weekend is heavily compromised, or basically over,” he admitted.

“I think it’s a very painful race, starting at the back. Imola is the second most-difficult track to overtake, just behind Monaco. Singapore is easier than Imola, just to put a number there.

“So I think it’s going to be tough, but hopefully we’ll learn something. There are some good days, bad days, this one was a bad one, and we need to keep it up.”

On the other side of the Aston martin team's garage, Lance Stroll steered clear of trouble and will start his from P13 on Sunday's grid.

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