Fernando Alonso has said Lewis Hamilton would probably have taken pole position today for Sunday's F1 2011 Monaco Grand Prix, if it wasn't for Sergio Perez's violent crash near the end of top-ten shootout.
Alonso had been one of the favourites himself going into qualifying, after he set the pace in practice. However in the end the Scuderia didn't do quite so well and the Spaniard had to settle for a spot on the second row, where he will line up in fourth, alongside Red Bull's Mark Webber.
“In qualifying I did not have as good a feeling from the car as I got in free practice and we need to work out exactly why,” said the Ferrari man. “Today, McLaren were very quick and I think Hamilton was probably favourite to get pole.
“I don't think the result of Q3 represents the true order because the red flag mixed up plans for many of the drivers.
“For Hamilton it went badly, while everything was fine for Red Bull, with us at a halfway point: we should have done two runs of two timed laps each without refuelling and therefore, we did not get the most out of the tyres.
“I reckon that tomorrow, overtaking will be pretty much impossible, despite the KERS, DRS and whatever else.
“The start will be very important and our race pace is good, so I hope I can make up some places, also making the most of any unpredictable situations and of our strategy. I expect some drivers will try for two stops and maybe others will risk doing only one.
“The car is handling better than a week ago at the Catalunya circuit: the balance is fine and the supersofts are working well.
“Perez's accident? From inside my car I had no information as to his condition. Frightening accidents like this do make for a bit of tension, but then you try and stay focussed and do your best.”