Formula One’s first night qualifying session proved to be a disappointing one for the ING Renault F1 Team as Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet qualified in 15th and 16th places for tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix.
As the session started, Fernando initially continued his strong form as he progressed through the first part of qualifying, but a fuel supply problem at the start of Q2 brought a premature end to the Spaniard’s day. He will start the race from 15th spot, a place ahead of Nelson who also had a difficult session on the street course.
With both cars starting on the eighth row of the grid, the team can expect a tough race tomorrow evening, but will look to capitalise on any chances to progress in the sport’s first ever night race.
Fernando Alonso P15
“It’s a really big disappointment because we had a real chance to do something special today, perhaps not pole position but to at least qualify in the top four. Our weekend was going really well and we had big hopes for this evening. I know that starting in the middle of the pack will make for a difficult race and I will need a miracle with the strategy to be able to make progress on this street circuit where it looks difficult to overtake. ”
Nelson Piquet P16
“I’m disappointed with my session. The car was working well and I was happy with the balance at the end of the final free practice session earlier this evening, but in qualifying we could not repeat that. The race tomorrow will be tricky, but once again I will do all I can to fight back through the field.”
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: “All the way through practice Fernando has shown a potential on this wonderful new circuit better than we have had all year. That makes it doubly frustrating to have this problem in qualifying which prevented Fernando and the team from showing what we could have done. But as a team we never give up, and as it is apparently difficult to overtake here, we will have to be creative!”
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations: “At the moment we can only look at the data on our systems and so we have to wait to recover Fernando’s car to understand exactly what happened. It is of course an enormous disappointment because we were in a position to aim for a great result this evening. We now have to decide our strategy for tomorrow, but we can be sure that our drivers will do everything to progress in the race.”