Alonso: I could have been on pole
8 September 2012
Fernando Alonso was philosophical after missing out on pole today in qualifying for the 2012 F1 Italian Grand Prix.
Alonso had looked poised to delight Ferrari's home fans after setting the pace in both Q1 and Q2. However in the all important top-ten shootout it all went pear-shaped for the Spaniard and the Scuderia with a problem with the rear anti-roll bar leaving him down in tenth place and with it all to do in the race.
“I think I could have got pole today, but instead I find myself tenth. A real shame, because the car was very strong, but these things happen,” said the current championship leader. “There's no point in crying over it.
“The problem will be fixed for tomorrow, but of course this result changes everything as far as the race is concerned: we had the chance to increase our lead over our closest rivals, but now, it's likely that at least some of them will make up ground on me.
“I don't think the failures we've had over the past couple of days however can be linked to a speeding up of the development on the car, because they have not involved components on which we are pushing to extremes.
“Tomorrow, we will try and pick up as many points as possible, maybe getting ahead of some of my direct competitors. We have to accept that problems like these can occur even if, when it does happen, the first reaction is disappointment.
“Having said that, it's a case of better Saturday than Sunday, because then, you have no chance of remedying the situation!”
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali meanwhile was frustrated to see his number one driver unable to challenge the McLarens for pole, although he did take some comfort from the performance of Felipe Massa, who qualified third in the sister car.
“What happened to Fernando this afternoon is a real shame, because today we could have gifted pole position to the fantastic Monza crowd. Felipe drove a great qualifying though, and we are very happy that he is finally back fighting for the top places on Saturday too,” he added.
“All the signs were there for a nice afternoon, but if you don't have 100% reliability, then you pay a high price and today that was confirmed yet again. First of all, we need to understand what happened to the back end of Fernando's car, but above all, we must immediately put behind us the disappointment we are feeling right now and prepare as well as possible for a race that looks like being very tough, from every perspective. 53 laps of Monza is a lot and everything can still happen.
“I remain convinced that we can still bring home a strong result in terms of the two championships, but clearly, if everything had gone smoothly today, we would have a much stronger chance.”