Alonso Pins Hopes on Strategy

Fernando Alonso is hoping that fuel strategy is the reason why San Marino Grand Prix pole position man Kimi Raikkonen was able to open out a six-tenths advantage in Sunday morning's final qualifying session

Alonso Pins Hopes on Strategy

The World Championship leader had been just three thousandths of a second adrift after Saturday's first qualifying run but saw the gap extend dramatically in the final session as Raikkonen put in a controlled lap.

But rather than accept that the time difference was down to pure performance from the improved McLaren, Alonso believed other factors could be behind the speed differential.

"I think today the conditions were different, so hopefully the gap we found today is due to different strategies and not due to the car balance or performance," explained Alonso. "But this we will find out in the race.

"So far I am happy with the car, no problems in the balance and the consistency should be quite good, regarding Friday's times, so everything is ready for the race."

Alonso also claimed that he had been slightly distracted by seeing Michael Schumacher ahead of him on the circuit during his qualifying lap - after the Ferrari driver had run off the track at Rivazza on his tour.

"I saw the smoke from the tyres in Rivazza when I was on my out lap so I didn't know exactly what happened there," explained the Spaniard. "Then I had Michael very close every lap, more or less the same distance, 150m or 250m in front of me, but he was not disturbing me at all because it was a nice gap.

"But anyway it is not nice to do your qualifying lap with someone in front, due to the mistake he had in qualifying and everything, my qualifying was like this but it was okay, no problem."

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