Fernando Alonso: “We’ll have to fight to get into Q3 tomorrow”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Fernando Alonso hopes McLaren-Honda can find a couple of tenths overnight so they can battle their rivals in Qualifying.

The Spaniard finished the opening practice session of the Singapore Grand Prix in eleventh with a time of 1:48.202, even though he joined the session late. For the second session he improved massively to finish ninth, improving by 2.423 seconds. At the end of the session, Alonso failed to get back to the pits after he appeared to have gearbox issues on his MP4-31.

Alonso feels McLaren will have to fight on Saturday to reach Q3 of Qualifying because Sahara Force India and Scuderia Toro Rosso are looking strong.

“Our expectations were quite high before coming here,” said Alonso. “Although, to be fair, I’d said beforehand that there are circuits coming up that should suit us better than Singapore.

“We’ll have to fight to get into Q3 tomorrow because I think Force India and Toro Rosso both look pretty strong around here. Hopefully we can find a couple of tenths overnight so as to battle them for the final three or four top-10 positions in qualifying though.

“Our biggest problem is an overall deficit of grip – we need to find a bit more downforce for tomorrow, and then we need to make the tyres work better over a single lap. We’ll work hard to do our best to achieve those two important goals. It’s not so easy to overtake around here, so a good grid position will be important.”