• Bahrain Grand Prix - Qualifying

Alonso confident of strong race

ESPN Staff
April 20, 2013 « Rosberg 'unbeatable' in qualifying - Vettel | Webber targeted fifth on grid »
Fernando Alonso: "I'm very happy with third place because usually we are better in the race" © Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso is confident he can have a strong race at the Bahrain Grand Prix after a competitive showing in qualifying.

Alonso qualified third, 0.3s off Nico Rosberg on pole position, but in Australia and China showed much stronger race pace than qualifying pace compared to his rivals. He is confident that trend will continue and is targeting a podium on Sunday .

"I'm very happy with third place because usually we are better in the race, and today the car was very competitive in qualifying so this puts us in a strong position to start tomorrow's race. We should be with the group of the leaders and be able to fight for the podium with a little bit more margin."

Alonso set his fastest time in Q3 on his first attempt on used medium tyres, but then abandoned his lap on fresh tyres at the end of the session. He explained he could see that he was not quick enough to improve and then backed off.

"We tried to complete the second lap and it was very similar until the last corner when I saw that I was half a tenth or one tenth slower than the previous lap," he said. "We decided to come in just to save one lap on those tyres, because you never know if you will have to use them again in the race."