F1 » 27 August 2011
Alonso: There is definitely a 'sense of regret'
Fernando Alonso: I hardly ever managed to get a clean lap because on both my second and third laps I found [Sergio] Perez ahead of me and on the last one I had to slow at the entrance to the chicane to let [Mark] Webber pass, otherwise I might have been penalised. That's how it was, but definitely there is a sense of regret...
Fernando Alonso has blamed traffic after only qualifying eighth today for Sunday's F1 2011 Belgian Grand Prix.
The Spaniard admitted there was a real 'sense of regret' after not getting a better place on the grid, but he hasn't given up and is confident he will be able to fight back in his Ferrari.
Indeed he has vowed to give his all in a bid to get onto the Spa-Francorchamps podium.
“Eighth is definitely not a good result, but we have to accept it and try to make up for this bad qualifying in tomorrow's race. I am confident because I know the car's true potential is definitely better than this position,” Alonso said.
“We did a good job of managing Q1 and Q2, even if the red flag in the second part put us under a bit of pressure because there were only seven minutes left and at that time I was not through to Q3. In the dry I don't think I could have fought for pole position, but I could have been at least on the front two rows.
“Unfortunately, I hardly ever managed to get a clean lap because on both my second and third laps I found [Sergio] Perez ahead of me and on the last one I had to slow at the entrance to the chicane to let [Mark] Webber pass, otherwise I might have been penalised. That's how it was, but definitely there is a sense of regret, as I could have got a better place.
“No one is really sure what the relative strengths are down the field: all weekend long we have seen very big gaps of seconds not tenths, depending on when the cars were out on track and also, we don't have an idea about tyre degradation.
“We will see what happens: I am voting for a dry race and we will do all we can to get on the podium.”
Felipe Massa meanwhile had a much better day and out-qualified his team-mate for the second race in succession. He will start from fourth.
“At the start of the session, when the rain came down, if I had been offered a fourth place, I would have signed for it on the spot. My result isn't bad, even if the cars ahead of me have shown a much quicker pace,” he added.
“However, it's true that conditions in Q3 were the worst possible for us: we could not get the best grip level right from the start, because we struggled a lot to get the tyres up to temperature. I think that tomorrow, if we have a dry track, we could be more competitive and I hope to be fighting with the drivers who are ahead of me today.”
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