Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers made it through to the final part of qualifying at the Circuit of the Americas, with Fernando Alonso qualifying sixth and Kimi Raikkonen eighth for the United States Grand Prix.
Alonso was relatively content with his qualifying efforts after placing sixth, and felt he was about where he should have been on the grid, although he is hoping to move up the order during the race.
“I think that this was a good qualifying and, looking at the times of the cars ahead of me, I don’t think I could have done much more,” said Alonso. “The track surface is much better than in past years, with a lot more grip, but at the same time, there’s more tyre degradation so a two stopper is inevitable.
“The temperatures have dropped from yesterday to today, but I don’t think this factor, along with the expectation that the wind direction will change for tomorrow, will affect the strategy.
“The races are long and anything can happen, including on the reliability front, as has especially been the case this season.”
Alonso admitted that Ferrari had considered introducing a sixth power unit for this event, like Red Bull Racing had done with Sebastian Vettel, but they thought better of it and opted to continue using one of the power units from their allotted five of the season rather than starting the Spaniard from the pit lane.
“Before coming here, we had thought about changing the power unit,” revealed Alonso. “But then we opted for one we had already used, so as not to start from the pit lane.”
Team-mate Raikkonen qualified ninth but will move up to eighth once the penalty for Jenson Button’s gearbox penalty is applied, but he felt he didn’t put a good enough lap together during the session that he felt should have put him higher up on the grid.
“The behaviour of my car was better today than yesterday and I was reasonably happy with the balance, even if I still didn’t manage to put together a good enough lap to be higher up the grid,” said Raikkonen. “For some reason, we haven’t managed to fix a problem with the front end. In all sectors of the track the car tends to slide causing a lot of understeer. Unfortunately, this is a very limiting factor and not ideal.
“But as usual, tomorrow in the race, we will try our best to get the most out of what we have to work with. I am sure that by continuing to work, improving day by day, we will soon find a solution.”