• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying

Alonso 'squeezed all of the performance out of the car'

ESPN Staff
November 3, 2012 « Podium will be difficult - Button | Rosberg hails Mercedes' progress »
Fernando Alonso: "The updates we brought here have improved our performance" © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso does not think his Ferrari was capable of qualifying any higher than he managed in Abu Dhabi, despite a bunch of new updates on the car this weekend.

Alonso was almost a second off Lewis Hamilton's pole position time in qualifying but will start sixth on the grid after championship rival Sebastian Vettel was excluded from the results. He said the car had been off the pace all weekend and, while the updates had worked, Ferrari's rivals had also improved.

"In all three free practice sessions, we were always around this position, so it would have been too optimistic to hope for more in Q3: a place between fifth and eighth was within our expectations going into the session and that's where we are. I did almost the same time on three occasions between Q2 and Q3, which means there was nothing more to come. I am pleased with the work we have done today, because we squeezed every last drop of performance out of the car. The updates we brought here have improved our performance but the others have not been relaxing on the sofa watching television while twiddling their thumbs..."

Alonso is hoping Ferrari continues in with its recent trend of being off the pace in qualifying but closer to the front in the race.

"Usually, Saturday is the day we suffer the most, while on Sunday things always go better: let's hope that will also be the case this time. It's also true that with so little tyre degradation, the strategic choices are much more limited and so too the opportunities to make up places. We know that in the three remaining races, we must score fourteen points more than Vettel and that is our one and only objective."