Alonso surprised by strong form

Renault ace Fernando Alonso has admitted that he was 'surprised' to be so near the front after grabbing a place on the second row of the grid for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix

Alonso surprised by strong form

The Spaniard overcame some understeer on his Renault to put in the fourth fastest time of the afternoon - and put himself within striking distance of grabbing the lead at the start tomorrow thanks to his team's excellent starting system.

"We knew things would be very tight and I managed to take advantage of that to get a place on the second row," said Alonso. "The timed lap was quite difficult because the car was understeering in the first part of the lap, at the second chicane and the Lesmos, but then handling really well in the fast corners in the final sector.

"Overall, though, the balance of the car was good and I am pretty confident tomorrow. I think we can run an aggressive race and fight for a podium position as we had hoped."

Team-mate Jarno Trulli found that a brand new chassis brought him little change in recent fortunes as he wound up ninth overall.

He said: "I pushed to the limit and managed to put in a good lap. I still do not feel completely comfortable with the car, and it was nervous and difficult to drive on the lap, so I took a lot of risks and they paid off.

"The car is quite competitive here and from what we have seen so far, we should be consistent on the longer runs."

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