Fernando Alonso insists that he’s happy with how qualifying unfolded in Monza, despite being beaten by team mate Felipe Massa.
The two Ferraris tried to co-ordinate a tow to help the Spaniard, and while he complained initially on the radio that the Brazilian was too far ahead, he said that in the end it had worked out. Alonso will start fifth, right behind Massa.
Fernando was clearly annoyed that a negative message that showed him criticising the team, when the plan for a tow appeared to be unravelling, had been played on TV.
“In Q3 we had Vergne in the middle out of Turn 4,” he said. “And then I was ready to take the slipstream of Vergne, because he seemed to want to follow Felipe at that stage. So I prepared the tyres a little bit, and then he let me by, and I had no one in front.
“So I said on the radio Felipe is too far away now if we want to do this, so they slowed down him and he was waiting a little bit in Parabolica, so we started the last attempt more or less the same distance as always.
“I just have to say thank you to the team and thank you to Felipe again for this tenth that helped me to do the last attempt in Q3. They didn’t put the last radio message when I said thank you to the team, thank you to Felipe, it was perfect at the end.
“It’s the first time in many, many races that I will be able to see the Red Bull rear wings on the grid, and on the first lap I can attack. It’s been an extremely, extremely good qualifying for us.”
Alonso believes that he can at least keep in touch with the Red Bulls.
“I think so. Normally in a race the worst point for us is the Saturdays, there are always three or four cars between us and the Red Bulls, so we start, we pass those cars, and we see the Red Bulls 10s ahead of us, and more or less we keep that distance or that gap throughout the race.
“We are very happy today because hopefully tomorrow after the start and the first corner we don’t have these three or four cars in the middle of us, we don’t have Hamilton, we don’t have Kimi, we don’t have Grosjean, we don’t have all these people who slow us a little bit in the first part of the races, because we have a great pace normally on Sundays. If tomorrow we have this great pace that normally we show on Sundays I don’t see any reason why not to follow the Red Bulls.”
However he concedes that Vettel will be hard to beat.
“He was fast all weekend, in all practices, in qualifying, in the race pace. It’s going to be tough. I think we need some changeable conditions tomorrow, maybe the rain, a mixed race, if not we know that it’s going to be tough, because they are very, very strong this weekend.”