Q & A with Fernando Alonso

Q: You qualified 13th after Renault showed better pace in practice - is that what you expected?

Q & A with Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso: It's always disappointing when you are not in Q3, but in practice we needed to be a bit more competitive. I was always 14th or 16th in practice, although I was carrying a lot of fuel, but often with a lot of fuel we are P6, P7 so we knew that it was difficult for us. But qualifying was even tougher than expected.

Q: The potential for the race - do you have the chance to score points?

FA: If the race is completely dry with no surprises, it's going to be a difficult race for us. The race is going to be extremely difficult for us because the last cars around the points - Kimi Raikkonen, Timo Glock and the two Red Bulls are strong and will be difficult to overtake. We will also start with the two McLarens, so it will be tough to finish in the top eight.

Q: It's a high-speed track, so is Renault's lack of pace a clear sign that the fast corner performance of the Renault is not so strong?

FA: Spa is an aerodynamic track and you need to be able to run low downforce for the first and last sector, and downforce for the middle sector. I think that our car is lacking in aerodynamic performance, but we've known that since the beginning of the season and we are struggling at this track.

Q: Are you hoping for a wet race?

FA: If it's wet, we know it's difficult to keep the car on the track. Sometimes you go off, you make a late decision to change to inters or slick tyres and all of these choices can win or lose you a lot of places. In our position it can only be good for us if this happens so it's better for us. But it would still be a very tough race from where we are on the grid.

Q: How do you explain the mixed up grid?

FA: It's difficult for the people outside to understand the grid. We've only had one week since the Valencia Grand Prix and there a Toyota and a Force India went out in Q1 and the BMW was also on the limit in Q1. Now they are in the top four one week later with the same cars because there have not been any big updates for the car.

It's quite strange, but it's one of the characteristics of this year's championship. Every race is different compared to the previous one and this makes it very interesting for the spectators. It's a challenge for us because the car can be very good or very bad.

Q: Last year, the final third of the season was incredibly strong for Renault - can you repeat that this year?

FA: We'll see. I was really happy with the car in Nurburgring, in Hungary and at Valencia so I was also hoping at Spa to have a strong car. It is not the case, but I don't lose motivation. This is a very demanding circuit in terms of car performance but I think that there will be races - like Singapore and Suzuka - where we can have a chance and the car will be competitive enough to be close to the podium.

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