Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers were disappointed after the qualifying session in Austria despite seeing both drivers qualifying inside the top ten. Both Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen felt more time was possible after mistakes on their fast laps.
Spaniard Alonso was fourth fastest, but believes the mistakes of others hide the true pecking order of the teams at the Red Bull Ring. He is expecting a difficult race but hopes to pick the right strategy to enable him to get a good result.
“I have mixed feelings after this qualifying, because on the one hand, this is the best result since early in the season, but it’s also true that the session was very unusual and it’s highly likely that the final order does not reflect the true hierarchy down the field,” said Alonso. “In Q2, I made a mistake at the final corner, which meant I had to try another run and in Q3, I went long in turn 3. But fourth place makes up for the disappointment of not having done a perfect lap and it should make us proud of what we have accomplished so far, because the updates we started bringing since Canada seem to indicate we are on the right road.
“With some faster cars behind us, we can expect a difficult race, in which defending will be as important as attacking. Now we must try and work out how to make the most of this advantage for as long as possible in terms of strategy and to have a solid race.”
His Finnish team-mate Raikkonen has struggled for single-lap pace all weekend, and was the slowest of the drivers to set a legal lap time in the final part of qualifying. The Finn will start eighth, but feels the race pace of his Ferrari will be better than that of the single-lap pace.
“In these two days I have found it more difficult to put together a good lap and again today in qualifying things did not go well,” admitted Raikkonen. “In Q3, I went out for just a single run on the Supersofts, but the mistakes made at the first corner affected my lap times. On my last run I locked the wheels, damaging the left front tyre, but at that point, I decided to keep on trying to improve.
“Even if eighth place is not a disaster, I am disappointed because we were quicker than that today, but I was never able to be consistent in the three sectors. Race pace is good and even if I am finding it a bit hard to get the tyres up to temperature, I will try my best tomorrow.”