Fernando Alonso: “I think we have to be happy today”

Fernando Alonso - Credit: McLaren Media Centre

Fernando Alonso felt the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team could be happy with the outcome of qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the Spaniard took ninth on the grid on Saturday.

Alonso felt the team should a competitive pace throughout the qualifying session, and felt ninth was the best possible outcome around the Yas Marina Circuit, even after heading into the session with a set-up he did not know he was going to work.

“I think we have to be happy today: it was definitely a good quali for us,” said Alonso. “The conditions are always difficult here, because you practice in hot conditions, then head into qualifying when the track conditions are much cooler.

“That means you need to anticipate what’s going to happen, and make set-up changes a little blindly as you don’t really know how the conditions are going to change.

“Happily, our car felt competitive, and making it into Q3 and finishing 9th in the final qualifying session of the season is extremely positive. We capitalised the performance of the car today and we got everything we possibly could out of it.”

Alonso is hopeful of moving forward and finish the year on a high at the desert track, and wants to enjoy the final race of the season before the winter break.

“There are no big threats from behind us in terms of the championship, and it’ll be hard tomorrow to finish higher than the position we’re already in, so let’s just enjoy this final race and hopefully finish on a high by scoring some good points,” concluded Alonso.