Fernando Alonso: “The key factor will be tyre management”

Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers showed a good turn of speed during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, but it was just not enough in an ultra-tight qualifying session, with Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen qualifying eighth and tenth respectively.

Alonso qualified eighth in Brazil, and feels tyre management will be the biggest factor for the race on Sunday afternoon, assuming the Grand Prix is dry, with the Spaniard’s main aim to score as many points as he can as Ferrari battle the Williams Martini Racing team for third place in the Constructors’ Championship.

“Today’s result more or less reflects the way the whole weekend has gone, even if here, a tenth of a second can be the difference between fifth and tenth places,” reflected Alonso. “Both compounds worked very well, but I’m sure graining and degradation will give us a hard time tomorrow. It will be a long race and, apart from reliability, the key factor will be tyre management.

“As usual we will give it our all to finish in front of our competitors and score points in the Constructors’ championship.”

Raikkonen qualified tenth, but admitted he has been feeling more comfortable with his car this weekend than in other races, with the front end of his Ferrari more responsive to his driving style. He had hoped to be higher up the grid but with it being his fastest lap of the weekend, he was not too disappointed.

“This weekend, I’ve had a better feeling in the car and, in general, I’ve had no major problems while I also felt more comfortable with the front end,” revealed Raikkonen. “We lacked speed today and even though this was our quickest lap of the weekend, it was not enough to finish higher up the grid.

“Obviously, I’m a bit disappointed to be tenth and, without having done a race simulation yesterday, we are a bit in the dark like most teams. However, what counts is that finally I feel much more comfortable at the wheel, which means we are making progress.”