Alonso 7th as Piquet disappoints...again

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After a damp morning the weather improved in time for qualifying, although the cool temperatures continued to give a low-grip surface. Nelson’s qualifying session was short-lived as the Brazilian was unable to progress into Q2 and will start the race from the eighth row of the grid.

Fernando fared better, progressing to the top ten shootout once again, as he confirmed the pace he had shown throughout practice. In a tightly fought session the Spaniard took a well-earned seventh place to leave the team hopeful of fighting for a points finish tomorrow.

Fernando Alonso P7: “Today we made it easily into Q3 and so I will start the race in seventh place, which is more or less where we expected to be, although I think that we could have done a little better. For tomorrow, the start of the race will be vital, but I think that we should be able to fight for some points. It’s important not to forget were we were just two races ago. We are moving forward, that is for certain.”

Nelson Piquet P17: “I am extremely disappointed today after my performance in qualifying. I finished in 17th while my teammate progressed comfortably into Q3. So it’s not going to be an easy race tomorrow, but I will give my maximum to try and recover. I will work hard with my engineers this evening so that we can try and improve for tomorrow and for the races to come. After that it will be down to me to do what I can on the track during the race.”

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: “It was unfortunate for Nelson to drop out of qualifying so early, especially as he had shown very equal pace to Fernando all morning. But that is what qualifying is all about; it’s very competitive and it’s necessary to produce the goods at the right time. However, I’m sure he can still have a strong race tomorrow. Fernando is quite nicely positioned given our current performance – let’s see if we can use the strategy tomorrow to improve upon that starting position.”

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations: “We probably did not have the best qualifying session today, but Fernando finished more or less where we expected. The competition was once again very tight, especially in the top ten, but I hope that we are able to fight with them tomorrow. The weekend is therefore a continuation of the progress we saw in Barcelona, which is encouraging. For Nelson, today is a bit disappointing because it will be difficult to adopt a strategy that will allow him to fully recover. So he needs to prepare himself for a difficult race, but we will do out best to support him.”