Speaking after claiming pole position for tomorrow’s British Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso said that his thoughts were with compatriot Maria De Villota, who was severely injured while testing for Marussia last week.
The Spaniard also admitted that, without a bit of luck today, he could easily have been out of qualifying at the end of Q2.
“First of all I want to dedicate this pole to Maria de Villota, who is going through a particularly difficult time,” said Alonso. “We are all feeling sad these days and our thoughts are with her and her family.
“Pole was a surprise, because in conditions like these, you never know what can happen,” he added, reflecting on the session that was heavily affected by rain. “This afternoon, one had to be in the right place at the right time on the right tyres and, to succeed in that, you also needed a bit of luck. For once it came our way, as with the spin at the start of Q2 and when I managed to get through into Q3 by a hair's breadth after the interruption: in the end, I had a car ahead of me and the visibility was really poor and then there were yellow flags at the last corner, but in the end I managed to get through to the next stage.
“Today's pole is important, even if we know it came to us in unusual conditions. We still need to get one in the dry to be able to say we have closed the gap to the best. I'm hoping for a boring race tomorrow, given that for once I'm starting in front of everyone.”
Team-mate Felipe Massa also looked in contention for pole position during parts of Q3, but eventually had to settle for fifth. As the Brazilian points out, however, it could have been much worse; during the 90-minute rain delay, he was on the verge of qualifying outside of the top ten.
“It's a nice result for the team, mainly because, when the red flag came out, both myself and Fernando were out of Q3,” said Massa. “We did a good job at the restart in the last few laps of Q2 and then, in Q3 we were always in the fight for pole position, but I was losing time right at the very last corner, as I was locking the rear wheels. All the same, I am pleased with fifth place. I think I will be competitive tomorrow, especially as the car is going well on this type of track. From Canada onwards, the F2012 has improved a lot and the results are clear to see.
“I think that the stoppage in Q2 was the right decision, even if it could have maybe come a bit sooner: it was incredible how much aquaplaning there was on the main straight at that time,” he added. “Then Race Control did a great job in making sure the track was in a practicable condition, which meant the spectators were able to see a spectacle that must have lived up to their enthusiasm. For we drivers, the break was boring, but for everyone in the grandstands, it was even worse, given how hard the rain was falling!”
Ferrari team principalStefano Domenicali was pleased with the result today – his team’s first pole position since September 2010 – but knows that the results tomorrow will matter much more.
“The points are only given out on Sunday and we always keep that in mindâ€¦Obviously, we are happy today because it's been a long time, too long, that we have not had one of our drivers on pole position, but we must not get carried away now, quite the contrary,” he said. “We must concentrate even more on our work because, once again, this afternoon, we saw how things can change literally from one minute to the next.
“Fernando was extraordinary and Felipe also did a great job: it's our best qualifying of the year and we must try and make the most of it in tomorrow's race. The weather forecast is rather uncertain, so we will have to be on high alert, ready to react to the slightest change. So many times this year, we have seen that grid positions have not proved decisive when it comes to the final result: let's hope that, tomorrow at least, it will play an important role.”