Fernando Alonso feels the Losail International Circuit is one of the circuits that suits the Alpine F1 Team in 2021 as the Spaniard claimed an excellent fifth on the grid for Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix.
The two-time World Champion has been showing good speed throughout the weekend in Qatar, and he maintained that into Qualifying and was able to easily get into the top ten shootout.
Alonso knows the points are paid out on Sunday evening under the floodlights in Qatar, and although there are several question marks and unknowns about race conditions, he is confident that he can bring home some good points for Alpine.
“I think the whole weekend has been positive for us,” said Alonso. “The car felt strong in all sessions and seems to enjoy the high-speed corners here. I told the team if they gave me enough fuel, I would be driving all night long and I would wait for them here tomorrow morning!
“It seems some circuits are better than others for our package and Qatar seems to be one of those. We need to study why we miss this performance in other circuits. But the points are scored tomorrow, so we need to maximise our starting slot.
“We start on the clean side of the grid and there are a few different tyre strategies for us to be aware. We have some question marks, but it’s better to solve these from fifth.”
“There was probably a little more left on the table today” – Esteban Ocon
Team-mate Esteban Ocon followed Alonso into Q3, but he did not get the same kind of pace in Q3 and will start down in ninth place after running wide at turn one on his fastest lap.
Despite this, the Frenchman was happy to see both cars inside the top ten in Qualifying, and it puts Alpine in a good position to score good points in the Constructors’ Championship as they battle Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda for fifth place.
“As a team, it’s a very positive qualifying result with both Fernando and I in Q3,” said Ocon. “On my side, we missed a little bit today and we have some things to review to see where we were lacking and where we can improve.
“There was probably a little more left on the table today as on my Q3 lap I went wide at Turn 1 trying to gain some time. Still, we’re back in Q3, which is great, and we know points are given out on Sundays.
“We’re still in the fight and we can battle hard tomorrow to deliver some points.”