Fernando Alonso: “We have been competitive all through the weekend here”

by Paul Hensby
Fernando Alonso - McLaren F1 Team - Marina Bay Street Circuit

Fernando Alonso was content to qualify eleventh for the Singapore Grand Prix, feeling the free choice of starting tyre compared to those at the back of the top ten should be advantageous for him and his McLaren F1 Team.

Alonso briefly found himself inside the top ten in the closing moments of Q2 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit only for Romain Grosjean to usurp him, but with the Hypersoft Pirelli tyre that the top ten will start on only seemingly lasting a handful of laps before giving up performance, starting on a different tyre compound could be the way to go, and Alonso will have a free choice of the Hypersoft, Ultrasoft and Soft to start the race on.

“We have been competitive all through the weekend here and this qualifying result is good,” said Alonso.  “We got back to our normal competitiveness and I’m happy about that.

“We knew that we were borderline on the Q3 cut-off, but starting the race from ninth or tenth on Hypersoft tyres can be a big disadvantage tomorrow, as those tyres seemed to have quite a lot of degradation yesterday in the long runs. So I’d rather be eleventh with a free choice of tyres, and hopefully we can benefit from that. It would only be worth being in Q3 if we were fifth or sixth.” 

Alonso knows from racing in every Singapore Grand Prix that the safety car has made an appearance in each of the ten previous races, so the team has to be ready this weekend to take advantage of it should it continue its 100 per cent appearance rate.

He also hopes that the recent unreliability trend of the team does not continue into this weekend as there is a good chance of a top ten finish if he sees the chequered flag.

“In ten years of racing here, there has been a 100 per cent record of Safety Car periods, and we need to be ready for that in case there’s an opportunity, or a window to stop and change tyres,” said the Spaniard.

“It’s a long and challenging race tomorrow and we need to stay focused and fight for points, but first of all we need to see the chequered flag. Reliability-wise, we haven’t been too strong recently, and we need to change that.”

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