Fernando Alonso failed to grab the headlines in Qualifying for his home Grand Prix, after only managing eighth position on the Grid. Despite this, the Spaniard believes that Renault achieved their maximum and now have the opportunity to score strong points in tomorrow’s race.
Qualifying was also an improved affair for Alonso’s team mate Nelson Piquet. However the young Brazilian failed to reach the top ten shoot out, having to settle for twelfth place.
Fernando Alonso – 8th: “I think that we did our maximum this afternoon. We were quick and have closed the gap with the leaders, although it was a bit close in Q2 where we were 10th. For the race tomorrow we know that the seven cars in front are quicker and the ones behind us are quite heavy on fuel and could jump ahead of us during the pit stops, so it might be difficult to keep our position. Nonetheless we need to score points and that will be our aim in tomorrow’s race.”
Nelson Piquet – 12th: “It was another really close session and all the cars were very competitive, especially in Q1. I was happy with the car as we had improved the balance this morning, but I just missed out on the top ten which is a bit disappointing. Still, starting 12th is not too bad and we have been free to choose our fuel load and have a strategy that we hope will help us move forward during the race.”
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: “Everyone was looking forward to Barcelona to see how the teams’ updates might change the relative positions. We can see that Ferrari have made a step forward, but overall the status quo has remained. Fernando has done a great job once again and he has a good grid position for his home Grand Prix. Nelson is also well placed and although he just missed out on the top 10, he is extremely close to Fernando’s performance and has the ability to have a very successful race tomorrow.”