Fernando Alonso: “We were brought back to reality this afternoon”

Fernando Alonso - Credit: McLaren Media Centre

Fernando Alonso believed that twelfth on the grid was realistically where he and his McLaren-Honda team were expecting to qualify for the Italian Grand Prix, and felt happy with his runs.

The Spaniard initially qualified thirteenth but will move up a place when Romain Grosjean takes his grid penalty for a gearbox change, with Alonso feeling the team suffered a reality check on Saturday after being inside the top ten during Friday practice.

“This was probably about where we expected to qualify,” admitted Alonso. “We went very well in practice yesterday, so I think we were brought back to reality this afternoon.

“Q1 was hard for us, and we went for a single new-tyre lap in Q2 and pushed to the maximum, so we have to be happy with ourselves.” 

Alonso knew the Autodromo Nazionale Monza was always going to be a tricky one of the team, but admitted it was disappointing to be battling with the Manor of Pascal Wehrlein for position.

“We always expected Monza to be hard for our package, but it’s still a bit disappointing to be fighting against a Manor,” said Alonso.

“We’ll study the strategy overnight, but we’ve got the choice of starting tyre, so will try and take full advantage of everything tomorrow.”