Fernando Alonso says he’s relieved to have qualified as high as sixth in Hungary after worrying that he’d end up further down the order, given Ferrari’s struggle for pace this weekend.
Alonso starts immediately ahead of his team mate Felipe Massa.
“It was better than I expected to be honest,” said the Spaniard. “Because we were a little bit worried about the Q3 possibilities with the two Lotuses, two Red Bulls, two McLarens and Force India also looked quite quick. We made it into Q3 and then P6 is a reasonable position at the moment. Second in the championship is Webber, and he starts 11th, so hopefully we can keep him behind the whole race.”
Like other drivers, Alonso struggled to get the best out of the softer Pirelli tyre.
“It was very difficult, in qualifying for whatever reason the balance changed for everybody, and it was a little bit more tricky. We made some adjustments to the front wing and tyre pressures, and in the end in Q3 the car was quite well balanced.
“I think it will be an unpredictable race, as in this 2012 season has been all of them I think. Yesterday we had rain in FP2 so we don’t have much information about long runs, so tomorrow we need to keep updating strategy every lap, and we see what we do.”
However, he stressed that a race win was out of reach in normal conditions.
“We have to be honest, we are not in a position to be as quick as the leaders here, I think. We are nine-tenths off the pole position today, so the victory tomorrow at the moment I think is difficult for us. We need some strange race or wet conditions or something like that, which may happen. But at the moment we are happy with sixth.”
Meanwhile Alonso said he’d be happy to see Lotus take points off his main title rivals: “I hope so. They are quick, they have been quick all weekend, they did a very good qualifying, and normally on race pace they are very strong. Staring up at the front, if we cannot win for sure for us the best thing is if Lotus wins.