F1 »

Alonso: We can't afford to start in the middle of the pack

Fernando Alonso declared himself 'happy, but I could be happier' after opening practice for this weekend's curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne – fearing Renault is not quite quick enough to fight at the front of the pack and anxious to avoid a mid-grid starting slot.

The Spaniard lapped respectively tenth-quickest in the morning and twelfth in the afternoon around Albert Park – leaving him twelfth on the overall timesheets, just over a second shy of the leading pace. He conceded that it is 'not the perfect position from which to fight for podiums [and] wins'.

“I think I'm happy, but I could be happier,” reflected the man from Oviedo. “Pace-wise, it's difficult to understand. It's only Friday, but we were tenth in the first session, twelfth in the second, so obviously it's not the perfect position from which to fight for podiums [and] wins.

“Obviously the first day is always difficult, starting the championship with many things to discover in terms of the car. It is also the first time we have tested in warm conditions after being in winter in Europe, so [we always get] useful information on Friday. We [will] try to analyse all the information tonight and tomorrow and hope to have a better car. That is quite normal between Friday and Saturday; we will test a couple of things overnight.

“Tomorrow we need to find some more performance from the car to be a little bit quicker – we cannot afford to start the race in the middle of the pack if we want to score some good points. Expectations for qualifying are more-or-less the same – we will try to start the race in the top six [or] top eight. I don't think we can be too happy if we start behind those positions.”

Alonso affirmed that there had been 'no big difference' between the performance of the R29 Down Under and in pre-season testing, when the Régie's challenger demonstrated increasingly impressive speed and consistency. He was dismissive, however, of the benefits of the newly-adjustable front wing – but acknowledged having used Renault's KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) technology 'every lap'.

“I think every track is a bit different,” the 27-year-old explained, “and you need to adapt the set-up a little bit to the track and also to the conditions. Today it was very windy and we expect some windy conditions for tomorrow and Sunday, so we need to accommodate a little bit to that and we need to make small set-up changes.

“It was the same in the winter from Portimao to Barcelona to Jerez – always different tracks. Some of them [are] a little bit bumpy, some of them have slow-speed corners or high-speed corners, so small things mean you are always adapting to the track and today we tried to work on that.

“We came from a set-up more-or-less similar to what we thought was the right one from the last test in Jerez and regarding last year's set-up here as well with last year's car, so between everything we chose our set-up and now we are just tuning a little bit.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fernando Alonso. ING Renault F1. R29 launch. Jan 19 2009. Algarve Motor Park. [Pic creidt: Renault]
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault, Australian F1 Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, 27-29th, March, 2009
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


brendan - Unregistered

March 27, 2009 11:15 PM

how come, getting in the top ten is going to be hard enough. 6 places are set as side for league diffuser. then its ferrari close behind. thats 8 places already



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.