Race Pace Focus for Alonso as Grid Penalty Lingers

Fernando Alonso showed more top 10 pace on Friday at Silverstone but will once again be curtailed by grid penalties. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Fernando Alonso may have finished Friday running at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix in an encouraging ninth place, but with grid penalties looming, the Spaniard is keen to focus on race pace for Sunday.

Alonso completed the day 1.7-seconds adrift of pace-setter Valtteri Bottas but the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team racer remained positive about the weekend ahead, despite knowing that he is likely to start from the back of the grid.

“I’m pretty happy with how my day went,” said the former British Grand Prix winner. “We’ve got several options we need to look at now, to choose the best one for tomorrow, but we’ve mainly been concentrating on race pace because we know that we’ll start from the back [with a 5-place ESS penalty].

“As we know, the lap-times are not that significant on a Friday. For the last couple of races we’ve been between 8th and 12th position, so we have to wait and see what happens tomorrow.

“The main issue here is choosing what level of downforce you want to have. Depending on how much power you have, you take some wing off to be fast in the corners and defend yourself on the straights, or if you have little power and you want to be reasonably okay on the straights you have to use the smallest wing you have. It’s difficult to judge.”