Fernando Alonso finished the qualifying session for the European Grand Prix in Baku, down in fourteenth place, one of the Spaniard’s worst positions for a good few races, as a congested track and incident packed session hampered the McLaren Honda F1 man’s efforts.
“That was quite a tricky qualifying session: Q1 was very stressful, in fact, as it wasn’t easy to do a clean lap as there were a lot of incidents, yellow flags and traffic. It was tough.
“While we didn’t quite have the pace to get into Q3 today, because other teams are able to turn up their engines, we didn’t maximise our potential either, as I believe we could’ve qualified a little bit better than 14th.
“On my final Q2 lap, there was a yellow flag at Turn Three for around 15 seconds, which meant I couldn’t open the DRS, so I lost a couple of tenths. I also think we probably didn’t get everything right ourselves – we were a bit unlucky, because we encountered traffic and were out of sequence with the cars around us.”
Despite finishing lower down the order than they would have liked, Alonso is positive ahead of Sunday’s race, as the unpredictability of racing on a still fairly unknown track, could provide opportunities for McLaren to make gains.
“So, 14th position isn’t ideal, but we saw how many incidents there were, and how many people went off during qualifying, so there’s still everything to fight for tomorrow. A Safety Car or an incident could quickly put us in a position to score points – so that has to be our aim.
“Whatever opportunity comes our way, we’ll be there, focused and ready, to take it.”