Fernando Alonso expecting to keep pole despite yellow flag situation in Q2
|By Jonathan Noble and Matt Beer||Saturday, July 7th 2012, 15:12 GMT|
Fernando Alonso says he does not expect his British Grand Prix pole position to come under any threat over the end-of-Q2 yellow flag situation as he is confident he backed off sufficiently.
The Ferrari driver only got into Q3 thanks to a late improvement in Q2, when he looked set to be eliminated.
Alonso's jump into the top 10 came at a time when yellow flags were out at Vale after Romain Grosjean had spun his Lotus into the gravel, but the championship leader was adamant that his time gains had come elsewhere around the Silverstone circuit.
"I didn't set a green sector on that lap," Alonso said. "I backed off in the area they were taking the car away."
Alonso's last pole prior to Silverstone was at the 2010 Singapore GP. The Spaniard secured his return to the head of the grid at Silverstone after a close battle with Red Bull's Mark Webber, and while happy with the result, Alonso admitted it might not mean much in the race if the weather was as wild as has been forecast.
"We are happy with pole position after nearly two years for Ferrari. For Ferrari it's a long time," said Alonso. "With these weather conditions the qualifying is one of the least important of the year, because everything will be mixed after a few laps tomorrow, but with visibility it's better to start at the front so I am happy."
Ferrari was near the back of the pack when qualifying was red-flagged for an hour and a half due to the level of standing water on the track, having made the wrong tyre choice of intermediates for the start of Q2.
Alonso said his change of fortune showed how easy it was to get things wrong in the conditions.
"In wet conditions you never know, you need to be in the right place at the right time when you do the lap, and the lap has to be clean with no huge mistakes," he said. "When you find yourself on pole position that can be surprising."
Alonso was one of the drivers who had called for a red flag after he had a wild spin on standing water out of Becketts early in Q2, and was pleased with the decision to pause the session.
"It was impossible to run - a good decision to red flag and also a good decision waiting for the time the circuit was in condition to run again," he said. "Sometimes we criticise the decisions when we are not happy with them, today they are doing a very good job. First priority was safety."