Alonso Confident of Strong Race

Fernando Alonso claims he is not too disheartened to have missed out on pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix, after conceding that his efforts were ultimately compromised by the chaos caused by Ralf Schumacher's crash on Saturday

Alonso Confident of Strong Race

Alonso had given away almost five tenths of a second to pole position man Kimi Raikkonen during Saturday's session, after both faced tricky track conditions at Tabac following Schumacher's incident.

And although the World Championship leader clawed back most of that gap in Sunday morning's final qualifying session, he eventually missed out by just less than one tenth of a second.

"I didn't know it was so close at the end," admitted Alonso. "When I did the lap I knew that it was a good lap, the car felt very, very good today, with the fuel, and it has felt like it all weekend.

"I think yesterday's time was a bit surprising and also the accident did not help my confidence in my car, but now we are in a very strong position. It is not enough for pole but it is enough for the front row and from there we have to think of the race and the strategy and the start and see what we can do."

With overtaking almost impossible around the streets of Monaco, Alonso's hopes of victory will rest on either getting off the grid better than Raikkonen, or managing to get a track advantage by running a long first stint.

Strategy will play a huge factor this afternoon, but Alonso's unsure about whether his Renault team have opted for a different tactic to McLaren.

"I don't know," he said. "We are quite happy with ours. We don't know what the others are doing but I have the confidence, I think, in the race pace.

"For the race point of view I think we are looking much better than for one timed lap, so this is why we are confident for this afternoon."

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