Fernando Alonso was left counting the costs of Ferrari’s tyre strategy, as the Spanish driver struggled to tenth on the grid.
The 29-year-old, who struggled to replicate his practice pace throughout the qualifying hour, saw his chances dented when a late rain shower ruined his final qualifying run.
Despite this, the double world champion remains in confident about his chances in tomorrow’s race and is hoping to make amends.
Meanwhile, Felipe Massa will line up sixth at Spa-Francorchamps, despite also making an error on his final run.
Felipe Massa, 6th: Definitely a difficult qualifying. Already this morning, we had seen that the McLarens and Red Bulls were quicker than us and they confirmed that this afternoon, when we had a few difficulties, failing to get the result we were expecting: which means we will be trying to improve our positions tomorrow in the race. As usually happens here in Belgium, you can predict that the changeable weather might play a crucial role: it will be vital to manage the situation as well as possible.
On my first run in Q3 Igot a good lap, but maybe it could have been a couple of tenths quicker, while on the second one, I immediately had rain at Turn 1 and I locked the wheels and I decided to pit without completing the lap, because I would not have been able to improve my lap time. If we have a track that is only slightly dampbut not too wet, it could be a problem because the rain tyres get destroyed very quickly and it will be necessary to manage them very carefully.
Fernando Alonso, 10th: Obviously, I can’t be pleased with this result, but it has to be said that if there is one track where grid position is less critical than others, then it is this one, both because of the track characteristics and because the weather can be very changeable: in some cases the right decision at the right time can see you make up an advantage of a minute, therefore we will have to be clever and make the most of every opportunity.
In Q3, I only had one set of new soft tyres left and I used it on my second run when, unfortunately, there was a bit of rain. There’s no point in making a drama over this tenth place: we must stay calm and concentrated, because qualifying is one thing and the race is quite another when the points are given out, not today.
Chris Dyer: We cannot be pleased with the outcome of this qualifying session. Of course, the fact the weather was so changeable made running the session more tricky, especially for Fernando, who found himself with just one set of new soft tyres left in Q3: when he used them there was just a short shower which prevented him from setting the time he was capable of doing and which would have seen him starting a bit higher up the grid.
Spa is famous for being unpredictable in terms of the weather: and onceagain this was confirmed today, with the possibility that tomorrow’s race will also be similarly affected, therefore we will have to do a good job in managing the possible variables.