Red flag robbed McLaren of Chinese GP Q3 spots - Fernando Alonso

Both McLaren-Hondas would have made Chinese Grand Prix Q3 but for the late-Q2 red flag, reckons a "massively frustrated" Fernando Alonso

Red flag robbed McLaren of Chinese GP Q3 spots - Fernando Alonso

Q2 for the Shanghai Formula 1 race was halted with 1m17s remaining when Nico Hulkenberg's Force India shed a front wheel.

At the time, the McLarens were among a group of cars gearing up for final flying laps that they would have to abandon, leaving Alonso and team-mate Jenson Button 12th and 13th.

Both drivers expressed huge exasperation over team radio when informed of the stoppage and were adamant they would have made the top 10.

"I'm massively frustrated today because we have the potential [for Q3]," said Alonso.

"We didn't use the new tyres, we didn't use the full potential of the engine either and we were waiting for that moment, that lap in Q2 and we didn't manage to open the lap.

"We have the pace now in qualifying."

Button had been fourth fastest in Q1.

"I know some people don't give it the beans [in Q1], especially the quicker teams, but it wasn't too bad," he said.

Button admitted that McLaren's long absence from Q3 - stretching back to his sixth place on the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP grid - made the team increasingly desperate to prove it had now turned its qualifying form around.

"McLaren hasn't been in Q3 since 2014 so we wanted to get into Q3 but 12th and 13th where we can choose our tyres, we can have a good race from there," he said.

Alonso also remains confident McLaren will be in the points at the end of Sunday's race.

"If we have the reliability, 100 per cent tomorrow we aim for that, we have a chance," he said.

"Some fast cars are behind us so we need to be careful of that as they will be a threat - like [Lewis] Hamilton etc - as they will arrive in the race but I think tomorrow if everything goes OK it should be first points for us.

"How high is impossible to know. Yesterday we were not completely happy with the race pace, we were not super-fast, so we made a lot of changes to the car, so let's see if tomorrow we are more competitive and we can score more points than we think.

"I think the car felt better today than yesterday so we need to confirm this in the race pace.

"We were just passing Q1 a few races ago and now we are frustrated not to be in Q3 so it's definitely a good direction that the car is going in.

"We have the choice of 3 tyres so maybe, hopefully that's an advantage in the race."

shares
comments
Red Bull’s Ricciardo thinks he can resist Ferrari in Chinese GP

Previous article

Red Bull’s Ricciardo thinks he can resist Ferrari in Chinese GP

Next article

Lewis Hamilton forced onto second engine of F1 2016 at Chinese GP

Lewis Hamilton forced onto second engine of F1 2016 at Chinese GP
Load comments
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021