Ferrari man Fernando Alonso was shocked to find himself so far behind the pace setting Red Bull's today in qualifying for Sunday's F1 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Alonso had a good qualifying session and just like in the practice he was the only one anywhere near Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. However, despite finishing Q3 in third place, he was disappointed to be so far off P1.

Indeed in the end his best lap, a 1 minute 19.987 seconds, was 1.2 seconds off the pole - and over eight tenths off second, quite a surprise, especially as he had been just 0.002 seconds off the top spot in Germany last weekend, although admittedly the Hungaroring is a rather different challenge to Hockenheim.

"I am pleased with my qualifying lap and with the performance of our car, as I don't think I could have done better today. The Red Bulls proved to be very strong and the gap to them is certainly a surprise," Alonso said.

"Having said that, we have to remain focussed on our work and try to do the maximum, aiming at getting on the podium. We must bear in mind that the leaders in both championships are behind us on the grid and our aim is to make up ground on their points total.

"The start will be very important. Usually at this track, starting on the clean side brings a clear advantage, but this year we have seen good starts from the dirty side and bad ones from the clean: it will be vital to do everything as well as possible and then we will see where we are at the end of the first lap. At that point we can also decide whether to have an attacking race or to manage the situation."

Team-mate Felipe Massa also went well in qualifying and while he was around three tenths slower in the sister F10, he still did enough to take fourth and ensure the Scuderia locked-out the second row.

"When you are gapped by over a second in qualifying, there is always something to think about: the way in which they [Red Bull] make their tyres work on the first lap is especially incredible and their aerodynamics help them so much in some corners, especially in changes of direction," Massa continued. "In the race though, the situation can be different, but clearly we cannot claim that we will be quicker on track.

"However, overall, we have to be pleased with this result because, all the same, we are ahead of everyone else. I did not produce a perfect lap: with these tyres you have to drive extremely precisely because you can easily run the risk of going off the ideal line. The start will be very important and, unfortunately, I am on the dirty side of the grid: let's see what we can do. The race will be very long and as always, anything can happen."

Ferrari boss, Stefano Domenicali and chief track engineer, Chris Dyer meanwhile echoed those thoughts and both felt their drivers did a top job.

"We are pleased with this result because it is the most we could reasonably have expected from this qualifying session," Domenicali stated. "Certainly the gap to the top is very significant and it's incredible to see how the picture can change in the space of one week: from a gap of two thousandths, we have gone to 1.2 seconds on the same tyres and with almost identical cars to those raced in Germany.

"Probably, we were not that close in Hockenheim and we are not that far off here: as they said in Ancient Rome, 'in medio stat virtus.' I wish to congratulate both our drivers who got the very most out of the car's potential. Now we must concentrate on the race which will be very long and tough, both in terms of reliability and for the drivers: here the slightest mistake carries a high price. Our aim is to try and make up as much ground as possible in both championships."

Dyer added: "A good job from both our drivers who today were able to extract all the potential available to them from the car.

"Honestly, I do not think we could have aspired to a better result: we definitely did not have the speed to fight for the front row, however, we managed reasonably comfortably to lock out the second one. We will try and get a good start and to get amongst the cars starting ahead of us: if we manage it, the race could turn out to be interesting."


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