Alonso: Podium is possible

Fernando Alonso believes that he has the chance to challenge for a podium finish in tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard was the only driver who managed to set a time in the session which was close the frontrunners and, as a result, will start fourth on the grid.

Team-mate Felipe Massa will start seventh tomorrow, after admitting that he was not able to string a full lap together during the final segement of qualifying.

Fernando Alonso – 4th: “So far this weekend, we have always been in the fight for the top places. We have a good grid position and now we must prepare ourselves as well as possible for a race, which for the first time this season will feature a confrontation between different strategy options, with two of the top five cars choosing to start on the hard tyres. It will be a very long and tough race and it will be vital to maintain concentration throughout, because on this track a moment’s distraction can carry a heavy penalty. Usually, our car is rather kind on the tyres which could be a decisive factor tomorrow, as will be the management of the brakes. Realistically, a podium finish is a possible goal, while it would take something special to get the win. In Q3, if I had been able to use another set of tyres, then maybe I could have cut my time down by a few hundredths, but the same applies to other drivers, therefore it’s hard to say how it would have gone if everyone had driven a perfect qualifying. All in all, we can be pleased with today’s performance.”

Felipe Massa – 7th: “It was a very tough and closely contested qualifying. In Q3, I was getting quicker with every lap to such an extent that my best time came on lap four. I definitely cannot be happy with seventh place, but at least our car is more competitive than it was in Turkey. It was a shame I didn’t manage to produce a perfect lap, otherwise I could have been higher up the order: at the end, as the track continued to improve, a few drivers went just a tiny bit quicker than me. Tomorrow, we must try and get a good start and on the back of that, build a good race. It will be important to get to the finish on a track which usually puts a high premium on reliability and one’s driving, given that there is little margin for error.”

Stefano Domenicali:“We are reasonably pleased with this result, which maybe could even have been slightly better Both yesterday and today we have proved capable of fighting for the top places, but we are well aware that it is the race that counts as this is when the points are given out. Traditionally, the Canadian Grand Prix is action packed and so tomorrow we must be ready to make the most of every opportunity. Compared to the earlier races in the season, there is also the variable of the different tyre choice strategies of the cars classified on the top three rows: we will see who has made the right decision. Reliability remains the crucial factor, especially on a track like Montreal which is tough on the mechanical components of the cars.”

Chris Dyer: “We are happy to have gone back to getting both cars through to Q3. Both Felipe and Fernando got the most out of the performance of the F10: a couple of tiny errors cost practically nothing in terms of lap times. It’s a shame that, right at the end, for just a few thousandths, Fernando found himself pushed back to fourth place and will therefore start from the dirtier side of the grid. From a purely technical point of view, it was a relatively quiet day, without any major problems and we believe we have a good potential to do well in tomorrow’s race.”