Alonso blames “strange” qualifying session

Fernando Alonso failed to shine in qualifying for tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix after being eliminated in Q2.

However the Spaniard later admitted that his final fast lap was spoiled by Sebastien Buemi’s incident on the exit of Spoon Curve.

Alonso is now aiming for points at best.

Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean blamed a lack of Friday running for his poor eighteenth position on the grid.

Fernando Alonso – 12th:
“It was a very strange qualifying session. The track conditions were good and all the drivers were pushing hard, but there were lots of incidents, amongst them Timo s was the most serious and I am glad he is okay. It s a shame to have missed Q3 as the yellow flag came out in the final stages of Q2. I was called by the stewards because I had a green second sector under yellow flags. I explained that coming out of Turn 14, I had little visibility because of the dust left from Buemi spinning into the gravel …then I saw debris of a wing in the middle of the track, which I avoided and at that point I saw the yellow flag and immediately slowed down and came carefully into the pits. Tomorrow, for the race, I hope we can improve our position and score some points.”

Romain Grosjean – 18th:
“With the rain yesterday, we only had one hour of dry practice to get ready for today s qualifying session. As a result, I haven t been able to do much running on a track that I haven t been to before, so that was a shame. We will see what strategy we can deploy tomorrow in order to give ourselves the best chance to have a good race.”

Bob Bell, Renault team principal:
“To be honest it was a disappointing session. Obviously Romain struggled to make it through Q1 and ultimately wasn t comfortable enough with the car. We were pretty optimistic about getting Fernando into Q3, but unfortunately the situation with Buemi s accident and the yellow flag meant that he had to back off during his second run and so he missed out on Q3.”