Australian GP - Renault - QualifyingFernando Alonso
had been hoping to challenge for a podium position at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, but a small error in the second round of qualifying saw him fail to make the final pole position shoot out and the double
world champion will therefore line-up in 12th position.
Renault team-mate Nelson Piquet has struggled all through practice and qualifying was no exception. The Brazilian, now in his second season of Formula One, lines up 17th but will be mildly encouraged to be just half a second shy of Alonso’s best in the same session.Fernando Alonso
“We arrived here to fight for the podium, but this might not be the case tomorrow. We were very close to Q3 times, only two or three tenths of a second off, but I made a mistake as I tried to make up some time in the final corner. I’m disappointed as I thought I could be fifth or sixth on the grid. However, last year I started in 12th and got up to fourth in the race so I’m still confident that tomorrow, if we have an eventful race, I can get a good result.”
"I knew it was going to be a bit tough today, after a difficult weekend for us. At the start of qualifying the car seemed okay, but then I started to struggle. This track is not one I enjoy particularly.
I was pushing a little too hard and made a mistake in the last sector."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
Track conditions: “They were quite good today with reasonably high temperatures despite the fact that qualifying took place late in the day. That did not give us any problems.”
Performance summary:” We are obviously disappointed, but the performance of all the cars is very close and our position in qualifying doesn’t necessarily reflect where we will finish in the race.”
Strategy and fuel load: “Our positions on the grid will certainly require us to use quite a conventional strategy as will be shown tomorrow by the fuel loads that we choose.”
Outlook for the race: “I think that we’re not too far from the teams that we should be fighting and we hope that our KERS system will bring us a genuine advantage during race conditions tomorrow.”