Fernando Alonso laughs off Felipe Massa's qualifying edge

Fernando Alonso has laughed off suggestions that Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa has the upper hand in qualifying now

Fernando Alonso laughs off Felipe Massa's qualifying edge

The Spanish driver has not qualified ahead of the Brazilian since last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and if Massa manages the feat again this weekend in China it would be the first time Alonso has been outqualified five times in a row in Formula 1.

Alonso conceded Massa was back at his best now, but made it clear he was far from worried about the situation.

"I haven't slept since Australia. I'm only eating white rice. I'm losing my hair. A huge drama," joked Alonso when asked about his qualifying defeats in a press conference with Spanish reporters.

"After 200 races, it's very surprising that two qualifying sessions matter so much. I'm pleased that it's so important, because it means that when I finish ahead of him it will mean I have done an stratospheric lap.

"We'll see if I can pull that magic here or later this year..."

Ferrari: Massa resurgence won't shake Alonso

Alonso added: "He's doing a fantastic job. It's true that for these calculations you are using strange numbers, with races from last year, races from this year.

"In Australia qualifying was with dry tyres on a wet track, in Malaysia we qualified with inters on a dry track, so I don't think they were completely normal tracks."

The two-time champion, who retired from the Malaysian Grand Prix after contact with Sebastian Vettel at the start, believes qualifying strongly has become less important since Pirelli returned to F1.

"Qualifying this year is less important. It has been losing importance year after year," Alonso said.

"There were years when it was vital to start from the first row or from pole position, but since Pirelli arrived qualifying has become less and less important.

"In the first two races of the season Kimi [Raikkonen] won pretty easily in Australia starting from seventh and anyone could have won in Malaysia. But there is a tendency for qualifying to become less important."

shares
comments
Button believes he could have led the Malaysian Grand Prix

Previous article

Button believes he could have led the Malaysian Grand Prix

Next article

Vettel uncut: his side of the story

Vettel uncut: his side of the story
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Felipe Massa , Fernando Alonso
Author Edd Straw
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021