Q & A with Fernando Alonso

On paper the result of German Grand Prix qualifying did not look good for Fernando Alonso, as having been second in the dry in Q1, he spun in the damp of Q2 and ended up 12th - behind his Renault team-mate Nelson Piquet for the first time

Q & A with Fernando Alonso

But as he explained to reporters afterwards, things could still turn in his favour in today's race.

Q. Are you frustrated by what happened in qualifying?

Fernando Alonso: Maybe that is not exactly the right word. Maybe disappointment, but difficult to know what is best because sometimes we went into Q3 and we were ninth or 10th with the lightest car and we were overtaken by the people who were starting 11th, 12th or 13th, so there are mixed feelings. Maybe being out of Q3 could be a good thing for the race, so at the end of the day what we are looking for is a good result at the end of the race, not just in qualifying. Hopefully in the race we can change the situation and get some points.

Q. Under normal circumstances, where do you think you could have been?

FA: Difficult to know. We were not very fast in practice in Friday and on Saturday morning. Just before the final run I was P16, so we were not extremely competitive. So we have some doubts about how much the car improved for this grand prix. But looking at Q1, everything seemed to work fine for us. We were second fastest, so maybe in dry conditions we were fine. You never know because Q1 is difficult and sometimes the top teams back [off] a little bit the pace and put everything into Q3. For sure, after Q1 result we are all more optimistic about the next coming races and also for the race - maybe the pace is not so bad finally.

Q. Has the car felt better to drive?

FA: No big difference. It feels a little bit more overall grip on Friday when we test the new parts, but strange - as on Saturday morning we were [lapping in] 1m31.3s and then in qualifying we were 1m31.3s. We repeated our time so we were doing more or less the same and the car felt more or less the time. The others seemed to go slower in Q1, so that is difficult to understand. Also looking at the times in Q3, the people were very quick - the pole time was something that for us that is not possible at the moment.

Q. You are starting from the lowest qualifying slot of the season, but will you still enjoy the challenge of working through the field?

FA: Yes it is different, and every race is different. We were not in Q3 also in Australia I think, and the race was okay. At the end I finished fourth. Sometimes the Q3 is a difficult game to play because you finish all your tyres, and you finish the possibility to choose your strategy and you find yourself ninth or 10th with not the best scenario. So maybe here the race is good, and still enjoying fighting, and it will be a fun race to drive. I need to make some places, there is the possibility of rain, and the start will be interesting as well, so it is good. But obviously I prefer to get more from the car and win the race.

Q. How much did you miss the right window in Q2, because you were on a quick lap and spun off?

FA: It was difficult. I don't know exactly how we were running in Q2 and when the people did the best times. For me it was okay when we were running with intermediate tyres, but then it was too dry for intermediates so we stopped for the slicks. Then it started raining on the out lap, and I did the first timed lap more or less okay, but I was starting to lose a lot of time in the second sector, the last part especially.

I arrived at the chicane and I was only two seconds faster than the intermediate time, so I couldn't slow too much in the last two corners as I had only a two second margin so I thought to be more or less at the same pace, but it was not possible as it was too wet. I spun and I lost the opportunity. I tried to be a bit quicker, especially in the first sector where you have more margin in case it is wet at the end.

Q. How hard has it been getting the tyres to work?

FA: Well, the soft tyre not a big problem. But with the prime tyre a little bit more, especially when they scrub - you need two or three laps to really make the tyre work. Every lap is better and better, so for tomorrow's race it will be interesting also. At the pitstops and the things like that, the prime tyre will be an issue for sure.

Q. When you are fighting near the back of the field, like at Silverstone with Lewis Hamilton, what is it like battling there rather than at the front?

FA: It is a big difference. When you are fighting at the back it is a normal fight. You don't care too much if you lose or gain the battle. When you are fighting for the podium finishes or the victory it is much more intense that fight. The adrenaline and everything is very high and you enjoy it more, fighting for podium finishes rather than fighting at the back. It is not very important if you lose the position, it is okay. When you are fighting for something important it is much more intense.

Q. Still good for the fans to see you racing hard like that?

FA: Yes, for the fans as always they want the fights, the battle between the big names and the big cars, so for sure it is exciting for the fans and I am happy if they enjoy the battles. But I will tell them to wait for some more exciting battles in the future, and for some more important points hopefully.

shares
comments
Brawn set to renew 2009 upgrade push
Previous article

Brawn set to renew 2009 upgrade push

Next article

Whitmarsh: Vatanen could boost F1

Whitmarsh: Vatanen could boost F1
Load comments
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022