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Fernando Alonso

Alonso 'extremely happy' despite costly mistake

Fernando Alonso will start Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix from third place at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Alonso China
To news overview © XPBimages

Fernando Alonso has revealed that he almost aborted his final hot lap in Q3 after losing two-tenths in two corners, but rescued the lap to secure third on the grid.

The two-time world champion was best of the rest behind the two Red Bull drivers who locked out the front row, although Alonso could have potentially split them if it was not for a costly mistake.

Alonso "lost the car" in the opening two corners which lost him two-tenths of a second. If it was not for the error, he would have likely qualified alongside Max Verstappen on the front row.

Sergio Perez would have been bumped to third as he was under two-tenths clear of the Spaniard.

"I don't know how far Checo is but in sector one I had a moment in Turns one and two," said Alonso.

"I nearly lost the car and then I said: 'Okay, do I keep going or abort the lap? Because I lost like two-tenths in two corners.

"We didn't give up, we kept pushing all through the lap. We set a good lap time, I think the car did improved since this morning.

"We made a few setup changes. Let's say tomorrow if we can translate that into points."

'We keep pushing'

Despite missing out on the front row, Alonso is still ahead of both McLaren drivers. One-lap pace is not a concern for Aston Martin as proven by the 42-year-old starting the sprint race also in third; however, in the sprint race he retired.

Prior to retiring he had dropped several places, with some setup changes having been made prior to the second parc fermé which came into effect prior to qualifying.

"I think it's the same for everybody, you cannot change the car completely because you are into the rhythm of the weekend but you can still make some small setup changes," explained Alonso.

"Some of them are just for balance problems, but some of them are just guesses that you do into tomorrow's race and you flip the coin.

"So tomorrow afternoon we will not know the answer but extremely happy and proud of the team. We are not giving up, we are not in the position we want yet but we keep pushing."

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