Ferrari's Fernando Alonso qualified 6th in today's difficult qualifying session but he is optimistic there is progress possible in the race. Felipe Massa meanwhile is disappointed with himself after a driving error cost him a better starting place. He qualified 16th.
Fernando Alonso: “We were well aware how difficult this weekend could be, because with such changeable weather, the track can change from one lap to the next and right to the end, you can never be sure what are the right tyres to use. I am reasonably happy to have salvaged what I could from a qualifying that featured so many unknowns. Starting from sixth here isn’t bad, because you can overtake at this circuit. I’m definitely hoping for a race with no rain, because in the dry, looking at yesterday’s long runs, we can be more competitive and quicker than some of the cars that start in front of us tomorrow. The aim is still to make up ground on our closest competitors: with Raikkonen we have a slightly better chance of doing so, as he is starting behind me, while with Vettel, it’s a tougher task. In any case, I won’t take anything for granted, because here, especially if it rains, anything can happen and it can be the case that strategy counts for less than luck does”.
Felipe Massa: “I am very unhappy with the way qualifying went for me. Track conditions were not easy, there was very little grip and I was struggling to put together a good lap. I went out in Q2 because I braked on a white line at Turn 3 and when the rear end broke away, there was nothing I could do anymore. Physically, I’m fine, but within myself I’m very disappointed. Never before have I had three accidents in such close succession, even if it’s always the case that when you try and give your all on tracks like this one and Monte Carlo, the risks are always higher. I still don’t know exactly how badly damaged the car is, but even if I’m very disappointed with what happened, we must stay focused, because tomorrow’s race will be long and on this track, anything can happen. I had a good pace today and tomorrow I plan to drive an attacking race”.
Pat Fry, Technical director: “Today’s qualifying was extremely complicated and its outcome was significantly influenced by the variable weather conditions. In situations like this, the drivers must absolutely be able to do the right number of runs in all three phases that make up the session and with that in mind, we paid close attention to how much fuel we put in the cars, in addition to making the best tyre choices on a track that was in a state of continuous evolution, because of the intermittent rain. In fact, we had a few problems in getting the tyres up to temperature and on top of that the track surface here is less abrasive and so it’s even harder to get the right feeling from the tyres. Fortunately, overtaking is possible here and from where he starts on the grid, Fernando can certainly try to attack. It will be harder for Felipe, because he’s starting from quite a way back. But in the last few races, we have always had a good race pace and we hope that tomorrow the weather clears up enough so that we can make the most of our potential”.