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Fernando Alonso

Alonso rues costly qualifying mistake

Fernando Alonso finished only ninth in qualifying for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix, but says he could have been on the front row.

Alonso Spain
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Fernando Alonso says a mistake in the early stages of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix contributed to his lowly ninth position in the final standings.

Alonso ran wide on an out-lap early in Q1 and said the resultant trip over the gravel damaged the floor of his Aston Martin, hindering his pace over the rest of the session.

"Q1 probably did compromise everything today," Alonso told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"I did a mistake, I went on the damp part of the circuit, I lost the car and then it was very costly because that gravel completely destroys the floor.

"It hurts even more because it was the out lap, I was not even pushing, so disappointed with my performance today. Hopefully, I can do a better Sunday."

Alonso hoping for big points haul

The Spaniard added that, even with his Q1 mishap, he would have had enough pace in hand to line up second on the grid behind a dominant Max Verstappen, and said a decent points haul was his aim for Sunday's race.

"P2 [was possible] probably even with the mistake, with the floor as it was, because in the Q3 lap I was coming to 1:12.7 until Turn 10, then I ran wide into the damp part in Turn 10 on the outside, so when I saw that 1:12.7 is [Carlos Sainz in] P2, I was surprised," said Alonso.

"That's why I'm optimistic for tomorrow, because the car seems to have a lot of pace.

"The car still felt competitive even with some damage on the floor, so if we put everything together for tomorrow, still optimistic that we can score many points.

"Top five, top six has to be possible from P9, but I realise that Checo [Perez] is starting [P11] and he will pass by very fast, and then from that point we need to recover four or five places. It’s going to be tricky, but we will try."

F1 2023 Spanish Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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