Formula 1

Fernando Alonso: “I think we maximised the package”

1 Mins read
Fernando Alonso - McLaren F1 Team
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Fernando Alonso believes the McLaren F1 Team maximised” its MCL33 package in qualifying for Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix, despite failing to advance to the Q3 shootout.

After a strong start to the season in which he scored 32 points in five races, Alonso has failed to score a point since May’s Spanish Grand Prix, and was classified last in the French Grand Prix.

Despite power unit supplier Renault introducing new so-called ‘party modes’ in qualifying for the first time, McLaren was the only Renault powered team to fail to get a car into Q3, as both cars from the Renault Sport Formula One Team and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing teams did.

Alonso’s best time in Q2 was a 1m05.058s, which was fourteenth fastest in the second segment of qualifying. However, after Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team’s Charles Leclerc received a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, Alonso will start thirteenth.

“We did our best in qualifying today, and I think we maximised the package,” remarked the double world champion, “but this is not where we want to be.”

“Tomorrow, we need to aim for points by thinking about the best strategy. We have a free choice of starting-tyre and all possibilities are open for us. I’m relatively optimistic.”

Alonso’s Q2 lap-time was fractionally slower than his effort in Q1, which the Spaniard apportioned to attempting to make up time in the final two corners.

“On my final lap, I was two tenths slower than on my previous lap; for the final two corners, I said to myself, ‘let’s try and do this flat out, in case I can recover those tenths’ but that was over the limit…

“We had some fun today and the car was good to drive, but this still isn’t the position we want, and we need to keep improving.”

Team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne will start in seventeenth, after failing to progress from Q1 and maintaining his record of not out-qualifying Alonso so far this season.

Avatar photo
115 posts

About author
Jake Nichol is a motorsport journalist writing about the Formula 1 world championship for The Checkered Flag. He is currently freelancing for Autosport, where his work includes IndyCar, NASCAR and UK-wide national race meetings.
Related posts
Formula 1

Ricciardo Fumes After Strategy Call Costs Him Points in Hungary

1 Mins read
Ricciardo called out his team after his Hungarian GP went from promising to disastrous after a questionable strategy call. Despite strong pace and qualifying well, a poorly timed pitstop left him stuck in traffic and unable to challenge for points.
Formula 1

Piastri Delighted After Claiming Maiden Win in Hungary

2 Mins read
Piastri claims his first ever F1 victory in a thrilling Hungarian GP, leading a dominant 1-2 result for McLaren.
Formula 1

2024 Hungarian Grand Prix: Norris On Pole After Wet-to-Dry Dramatic Session

4 Mins read
Lando Norris snatches dramatic pole in Hungary! McLaren lock out front row as rain shakes up qualifying session. Verstappen starts P3, Hamilton P6. Read more with our qualifying report!