Alonso Delighted after 'Perfect' Lap

World Champion Fernando Alonso hailed a "perfect" lap after clinching pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix

Alonso Delighted after 'Perfect' Lap

Alonso's first pole position since last month's Brazilian Grand Prix, where he became the youngest Formula One champion at the age of 24, gave his Renault team the early advantage in what promises to be a knife-edge battle.

Renault, who lead McLaren by just two points, can secure their first Formula One constructors' title in Sunday's season-ending race in Shanghai.

"It was a perfect lap, and I have been surprised at how good the car has been this weekend," said Alonso. "The circuit has improved a lot, and we have made a lot of changes as well to improve the handling.

"We have been conservative in our developments for a lot of the season, but for these final races, we have been able to be aggressive and it is paying off. I am in a perfect position to fight for the win tomorrow.

It was the Spaniard's sixth pole of the season and the first time this year that both Renaults had lined up together on the front row. Alonso's time also gave Michelin their 100th Formula One pole position.

Teammate Giancarlo Fisichella joined him on the front row, 0.321 of a second slower.

"I am really pleased to be second, because I was struggling with the car this weekend and didn't expect to be on the front row," said the Italian.

"We did some changes at the last minute that really improved things, and I was quite pleased with the lap - maybe I was a bit conservative in the first sector, but I felt very confident after that. The new engine has performed really well, and we are on a good strategy for tomorrow.

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