Alonso eyeing podium from fourth place on the grid at Monza
|By Pablo Elizalde and Jonathan Noble||Saturday, September 10th 2011, 14:40 GMT|
Fernando Alonso is confident he will be in the fight for a place on the podium at Monza after a stronger-than-expected showing in qualifying.
The Ferrari driver will start the race from fourth position, a result he admitted was better than he had hoped for after struggling for pace ahead of qualifying.
"I'm happy with the result as it gives us a good chance for the race, to fight for the podium, to be in the fight at the first corner if we get a good start," said Alonso. "The weekend has been complicated, and we have never been fast enough.
"We have changed a lot of things in the car and so it's been a weekend with a lot of work. And in the end, finding ourselves on the second row is the best news of all."
The Spaniard is also hopeful Ferrari will be stronger in race trim than in qualifying, but he admitted it is unlikely he will have the pace to fight for victory.
"We will see. Obviously there is this question mark for tomorrow regarding the degradation and tyres, the pace in the race, which normally it was in our favour and we are usually better on Sunday, so we will see tomorrow if we can repeat this thing.
"I am confident that we can have a good pace in the race even if the weekend so far we were not extremely competitive. We struggled yesterday and we struggled this morning and in qualifying.
"The best thing is the result, and fourth gives you the possibility of fighting for the podium, fighting at the first corner etc.., but being realistic we do not have the pace so far."
He added: "I think we will see tomorrow. It is true that here you can set the car a little bit for qualifying or you can set it for the race. You can put more or less downforce regarding what you think for the race is best, and in qualifying because you open the wing on every straight it is not a problem.
"In the race, when you cannot open that wing on the straight, it is necessary to have the right downforce on the car. We see tomorrow. Sebastian did well today with a big margin for pole position, so tomorrow basically at the start we need to stop him."