Alonso unfazed by Q3 miss at home race, expected worse


Fernando Alonso displayed a pragmatic mindset after Saturday’s qualifying in Barcelona, admitting that his disappointing P11 performance in the session actually surpassed his Aston Martin team’s most optimistic projection.

Alonso failed to make the top-ten shootout by a remarkably narrow margin – a mere 0.019 seconds. However, the tiny gap properly reflects the fierce level of competition that now dominates F1, from the top to the bottom of the grid.

A top podium contender in the first half of last year, Aston has since slowly regressed, with Team Silverstone losing more ground this season to the front-runners.

In Monaco, Alonso noted his team’s stagnation, and any glimmer of home produced by Aston’s double-points finish in Canada quickly subsided this weekend. But worse, the two-time world champion warns of more struggles lying ahead.

“Yeah very close, we knew that it would be very tight in this type of circuit,” said Alonso, commenting on his Q3 miss, quoted by Motorsport Week.

“Austria will be extreme, as if you’re running 1:04s it will be even tighter. So yeah I think I’m happy with the result, even if it is painful to say in front of the home grandstands.

“But before qualifying our predictions were a little bit more pessimistic, even with one car we opted to go with 3 sets in Q1 which is a sign that you are not very confident.

“All in all to start P10 with Checo’s [Sergio Perez] penalty is a good result and hopefully tomorrow we are just one position away from the points, let’s see.”

While Aston missed the cut, with Alonso’s teammate Lance Stroll also left stranded in Q2 down un 14th position, Alpine unexpectedly succeeded in putting both its drivers in Q3.


Asked if he was surprised to see his former team outpace Aston Martin given its subdued results year-to-date, Alonso said: “No I think we knew.

“Alpine was in front of us in Monaco, was very close in Canada, here they are just half a tenth in front so they are getting better and we are getting worse probably!”

While bracing for a tough period in the short-term, Alonso suggested that Aston Martin’s development programme should eventually unlock more potential from its AMR24.

“I think as I said many times we have some things in the pipeline that should put us back in the right direction,” he added.

“It’s going to be painful here, it’s going to be painful in Austria, in Silverstone, we have to keep scoring points if it’s eighth, eighth, if it’s seventh, ninth, whatever.

“We cannot give up and stay positive in these tough times.”

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