Fernando Alonso admitted to being pessimistic heading into qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix but was able to surprise himself by making it through to the second phase and ultimately will start the race on Sunday from thirteenth on the grid.
The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver felt he got more out of his MCL32 during the session at the Shanghai International Circuit than he was expecting, which makes his starting position ‘a nice surprise’.
“I think I extracted the maximum from the car today – I was flat-out and pushed like an animal,” said Alonso.
“We were pessimistic going into qualifying, after our FP3 performance had been very uncompetitive and we’d felt we had nothing left, but in quali the car picked up some pace and we were able to make it into Q2 and get 13th, which was a nice surprise.”
Alonso believes the team would struggle to score points in the race on Sunday should it stay dry, so would benefit if the expected rain comes, which he also feels would make it a more enjoyable for the fans.
“For tomorrow’s race, the expected rain will help us, since in dry conditions it would be difficult to score points, but in wet conditions anything could happen,” added Alonso.
“We need some chaos in the race, basically. We’ve raced here in those conditions in the past so we have to use that experience and take any opportunity that opens up in front of us.
“If it rains it will be a good race to watch for the fans: they’ll enjoy it and for us it’ll be fun too – if we can take our chances.”