Fernando Alonso described himself as an animal while storming through the qualifying for the Chinese GP. After a complicated practice session on Saturday morning, the Spaniard claimed the 13th position with a ‘last blast’ run.
McLaren-Honda arrived with modest hopes in China since the team thought the never-ending back straight of the Shanghai International Circuit would perfectly highlight its car’s biggest weakness. Alonso conceded the team was pessimistic even after the Saturday practice session which was the only dry running thanks to the miserable weather conditions on Friday.
However, the Spaniard felt his car revived in the qualifying session and he went to the ragged edge to push his car and eventually grabbed the 13th place on the grid.
“I think I extracted the maximum from the car today – I was flat-out and pushed like an animal. We were pessimistic going into qualifying, after our FP3 performance had been very uncompetitive and we’d felt we had nothing left, but in qualy the car picked up some pace and we were able to make it into Q2 and get 13th, which was a nice surprise.
Despite all the joy, the Spaniard is aware that scoring points in the race would be too much of an ask at the moment. The two-time world champion, therefore, hopes rain might arrive at the time of the race which could mix things up.
“For tomorrow’s race, the expected rain will help us, since in dry conditions it would be difficult to score points, but in wet conditions anything could happen. We need some chaos in the race, basically. We’ve raced here in those conditions in the past so we have to use that experience and take any opportunity that opens up in front of us.
“If it rains it will be a good race to watch for the fans: they’ll enjoy it and for us it’ll be fun too – if we can take our chances,” Alonso concluded.