- Brazilian Grand Prix - Qualifying
Alonso relying on strategy for damage limitation
Fernando Alonso is relying on tyre strategy at tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix to limit the damage to his narrow championship lead.
In damp conditions, Alonso only managed fifth place on the grid behind title rivals Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton as well as wildcard Nico Hulkenberg on pole. However, Alonso is confident that his Ferrari will look after its tyres in the race and is hoping that will enable him to push hard in the closing stages.
"Tomorrow in the race, we will have to try and make the most of our strong points, especially our race pace," he said. "If we can do a good job of managing the tyres maybe towards the end we can have the edge. The start will also be important: we will try and make up some places, while keeping an eye on what our rivals are doing, because it will be a crucial moment for them too.
"From a strategic point of view, clearly the presence of Hulkenberg on pole introduces an unexpected variation. The main aim this weekend is to increase my lead over Webber to arrive in Abu Dhabi in as calm a frame of mind as possible. If that's not possible, then it will be a case of damage limitation."
Alonso said Hulkenberg hooked up a perfect lap in Q3 while he and his rivals made mistakes on the drying surface.
"Today, the surprise came from Hulkenberg, the only one to do a clean lap in Q3: everyone else, myself included, was not as clever, also because the dry line was really narrow and you only needed to get the tyres ten centimetres outside it and you lost a lot of time," he added. "There's a lot to lose in these conditions and little to gain: it would have just needed one wrong choice to already be out of it before the final part of qualifying."
"Fifth place is not the end of the world. Many times this year, the two Red Bulls have been out in front and Hamilton's McLaren has been in the fight with us for third place."