- Belgian Grand Prix - Qualifying
Mixed emotions for Ferrari drivers
Alonso, who topped the lap times during both of Friday's sessions, experienced the worst of the conditions for his second run in Q3 and lines up a disappointing tenth on the grid.
"Obviously, I can't be pleased with this result, but it has to be said that if there is one track where grid position is less critical than others, then it is this one, both because of the track characteristics and because the weather can be very changeable," said Alonso. "In some cases the right decision at the right time can see you make up an advantage of a minute, therefore we will have to be clever and make the most of every opportunity.
"In Q3, I only had one set of new soft tyres left and I used it on my second run when, unfortunately, there was a bit of rain. There's no point in making a drama over this tenth place: we must stay calm and concentrated, because qualifying is one thing and the race is quite another when the points are given out, not today."
Team-mate Felipe Massa fared better, although he acknowledged afterwards that Red Bull and McLaren had the edge.
"Definitely a difficult qualifying," said Massa. "Already this morning, we had seen that the McLarens and Red Bulls were quicker than us and they confirmed that this afternoon, when we had a few difficulties, failing to get the result we were expecting: which means we will be trying to improve our positions tomorrow in the race. As usually happens here in Belgium, you can predict that the changeable weather might play a crucial role: it will be vital to manage the situation as well as possible.
"On my first run in Q3 I got a good lap, but maybe it could have been a couple of tenths quicker, while on the second one, I immediately had rain at Turn 1 and I locked the wheels and I decided to pit without completing the lap, because I would not have been able to improve my lap time. If we have a track that is only slightly damp but not too wet, it could be a problem because the rain tyres get destroyed very quickly and it will be necessary to manage them very carefully."