Alonso Predicts Tough Race

Renault's Fernando Alonso said the Malaysian Grand Prix will be gruelling for the drivers, after securing pole position in final qualifying in temperatures of 36 degrees at Sepang on Sunday

Alonso Predicts Tough Race

Alonso, who is hoping to secure his first win in more than a year, predicted the field will be closely bunched for the afternoon's race and said he was delighted to stay ahead after setting the fastest time in first qualifying.

"It was very close," he said. "Yesterday there were some cars between the 10th and the fifth position that changed a lot today and I was honestly a little worried about my position.

"You can be on pole or you can be fourth very quickly, so I tried to do my lap with no mistakes. I knew my car was good and I found a good balance again today and here we are on pole.

"We repeated the three positions we had yesterday and hopefully we can do it again this afternoon, but the whole weekend has been very tough for the drivers with very hot temperatures.

"Even more today so we have to prepare ourselves now by drinking a lot between this press conference and the race start and hopefully we can finish the race in good condition."

Alonso won his first Formula One race at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2003 but failed to record a victory last season, as Ferrari dominated and Jarno Trulli gave Renault their only win of the year in Monaco.

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