Traffic can be disastrous in qualifying, says Alonso

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Fernando Alonso thinks that traffic can be an issue in qualifying after several drivers encountered slow-moving cars during their qualifying simulation runs on Friday.

The two-time world champion was delighted to have a normal schedule on Friday after two sprint weekends which enabled his team to test their new upgrade package.

The Spaniard finished both sessions in P10, but his qualifying simulation saw him end the session almost a second off the pace-setting Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. Alonso complained about Lewis Hamilton in second practice, and thinks that traffic might turn out to be decisive in today’s qualifying.

"It was nice to get back to a more traditional Friday schedule after a couple of Sprint weekends, allowing us to get lots of laps in as we assess the updates we've brought this weekend.

"We've gathered lots of data and now we'll analyse overnight the impact the updates have had on the car. Looking ahead to tomorrow, we know traffic will be challenging in Qualifying so we'll need to find gaps out on track and take advantage to set ourselves up well for Sunday's Grand Prix."

His team-mate Lance Stroll was only two tenths of a second adrift of Alonso in Free Practice 2, but with the field extremely closely matched, he took only 13th. The Canadian driver thinks this will mean that a perfect setup will be therefore crucial in today’s qualifying.

"I always enjoy coming back to Imola, it's a fun track to drive with a lot of history. Today was productive as we applied our updates to the car. We tested a lot of different things as we assessed the updates and we've gathered lots of data that we'll study overnight.

"I'm looking forward to Qualifying tomorrow. The field is closely packed together but with a strong performance we can give ourselves a good starting position for the Grand Prix."