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Fernando Alonso

Alonso battled 'risk vs reward' dilemma in sprint qualifying

The Aston Martin driver secured third place on the grid for the F1 Sprint in Shanghai in wet conditions.

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Fernando Alonso has detailed the 'risk vs reward' dilemma faced by Formula 1 drivers in the wild sprint qualifying at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Both SQ1 and SQ2 passed with only a few drops of rain, but towards the end of the second segment, the rain arrived, leading to difficult conditions in SQ3 as the already low-grip track worsened, with Charles Leclerc even spinning off.

Alonso was a contender at the head of the 10-car field, but slipped behind old foe Lewis Hamilton, who was on course for a second sprint pole but both were shuffled back one place after Lando Norris's deleted time was reinstated to grab pole for himself.

The Aston Martin driver also survived a stewards' inquiry into a pit-lane exit incident involving Zhou Guanyu, but was cleared of any wrong-doing.

Alonso's 'risk vs reward'

"It was quite stressful to be honest," Alonso explained of his run to third on the grid.

"In SQ1, we were just looking at the radar and the threat of rain was there, and we progressed in SQ1, and then in SQ2 just, as we were not super competitive in the dry, and then it rained at the end in SQ3.

"Every lap was different conditions with the tyres, they were better every lap, but the circuit was slightly worse every lap with more rain, so it was difficult to judge the level of grip and the level of risk that you wanted to apply."

"We don't really have a clear idea yet [of where we are], but we will find out tomorrow, and we have a lot of racing laps now in the weekend with the sprint race and obviously the main race on Sunday, so let's see if we can qualify well tomorrow."

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