Alonso fears title lost in qualifying

Fernando Alonso said he has likely lost his chance to win a third consecutive world championship by finishing fourth - and behind both Ferrari drivers - in qualifying for Sunday's decisive Brazilian Grand Prix

Alonso fears title lost in qualifying

Alonso, four points behind McLaren teammate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton, said he would have to depend on some misfortune for his opponents in order to win his third title in a row.

Asked about his title chances, Alonso told reporters on Saturday: "Less than yesterday, for sure."

"Unfortunately, one of the possibilities to win the championship was to win the race and put a Ferrari between us. Now, it's unlikely to happen.

"It seems impossible but you never know in Formula One."

Alonso's title hopes were revived in China two weeks ago when 22-year-old British rookie Hamilton skidded into a gravel trap, blowing his chance to wrap up the championship with one race to spare.

That Grand Prix was won by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who is a further three points behind Alonso in the first three-way title decider since 1986.

"It's like China, I need a special race to become champion. If everything goes normally, then it's nearly over for me," said Alonso.

"It is not that I'm pessimistic, I am realistic and I know I need a race like China or something like that, a mechanical problem or something very unlucky for my opponents.

"We're only two hours after qualifying, and finishing fourth and throwing away a little bit my only possibility to win the race, which was to start in pole."

He said of his car: "The balance was not too bad, the car was quite good and we were not quick enough."

Alonso, who has not been on speaking terms with team boss Ron Dennis since the Hungarian Grand Prix in early August, also touched on his season and his frosty relationship with the team.

"In every championship or race, you learn things," he said. "For sure, I've learned things this year. It's not a secret that I didn't have the best relationship with the team.

"Even in the last race, we heard from the team principal that they were racing against me in a way, that is not very nice."

Dennis said after the race in Shanghai, when asked why they had not brought Hamilton in earlier for a tyre change, that "we were not racing Kimi, we were basically racing Fernando".

shares
comments
Brazil Saturday quotes: Ferrari

Previous article

Brazil Saturday quotes: Ferrari

Next article

FIA modifies red-flag procedure for Brazil

FIA modifies red-flag procedure for Brazil
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Author Brian Homewood
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021