Alonso never thought win was possible

Fernando Alonso said he never believed he had much of a chance of fighting for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix - despite leading the early stages of the race

Alonso never thought win was possible

The Spaniard jumped from fourth on the grid to move to the front of the pack at Barcelona, but fell down the order and off the pace when he switched to the prime tyres at his third spot.

He eventually finished a lap down in fifth place - but thinks his performance looked worse than it was simply because of his strong qualifying form and early position in the race.

"We were not quick enough," explained Alonso. "That is the main issue. Yesterday we should maybe qualify eighth and ninth, and 'unfortunately' I was fourth. Today, if you start the race eighth, you finish fifth, so it is a great result.

"We were out of position yesterday, it was a good lap, and we were out of position today because of the good start, so everything looks sad. But that is the way it is.

"We had a great start and found ourselves leading the race but not with the pace to lead the race, so step by step, lap by lap, you are losing ground.

"And then, at the end with hard tyres, we were not competitive with them all weekend. And unfortunately, anticipating the stops with the soft, we found ourselves for 40% of the race with the hard tyre, which was a less competitive tyre for us, so we were slow with the soft and very, very slow with the hard."

Even though Alonso kept his lead for the first stint of the race, he said he knew fairly early on that he was not going to be able to keep his advantage for the race.

"It was great, a great experience to lead the race for the first time this year, in front of my people. I enjoyed the first 20 laps of the race, even if there was a lot of pressure from behind.

"You have to use your strategy, your KERS, everything in the right place to defend the position and I enjoyed, I really enjoyed, those laps.

"But I was thinking in the pitstops there is nothing you can do, stop one lap early they will overtake you, if they stay out they will overtake you. The only possibility is stopping the same lap as they were doing but, because I had three or four cars behind me, you cannot do that with all the cars - so I had no big hopes for the winning."

Alonso said that his spectacular start, which saw him muscle to the front from fourth on the grid, was not particularly special.

"You try to do exactly the same thing every Sunday, it is the same procedure, the same preparation, the same tyres - sometimes you get everything right so the reaction is right, you find your way into Turn 1.

"The clutch position with the engineers, they are okay, sometimes they are a little bit out. Barcelona offers you the opportunity of 600 metres of slipstream, so you can overtake thanks to that. A start like this at Monaco you keep fourth, so it was a combination of many things that makes the start very good."

shares
comments
Spain Sunday quotes: Renault

Previous article

Spain Sunday quotes: Renault

Next article

Heidfeld encouraged by recovery

Heidfeld encouraged by recovery
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Plus

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Plus

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021