• Indian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Pole position not as important - Alonso

ESPNF1 Staff
October 29, 2011 « Webber happy with 'good foundation' | Button bemoans 'disaster qualifying' »
Fernando Alonso is positive about his race chances © Getty Images

Fernando Alonso says he is happy to be starting from third on the grid for Sunday's inaugural Indian Grand Prix because he does not see pole position as an advantage on the new Buddh circuit compared to other races.

"Pole is not as important as previously," said Alonso. "We have seen this year with the new rules, the tyre degradation that the race is decided maybe from the middle of the race to the end so the first couple of laps or the pole position is not any more a huge help. Obviously it's better to start on pole than third or fourth but I think we have to be happy with third not only for the start but also for the long way to turn four with the back straight. If you are the leading car maybe you are too slow with the air so I am happy to start third. The important thing is to be on the podium if we can on the opening race in India."

From previous experience this season, Alonso is confident that Ferrari's better race pace will pay dividends on Sunday.

"It is important for us to be on the first two rows of the grid because normally we struggle on Saturday and then we improve a lot in race pace so being third on the grid tomorrow gives us the possibility of a better race result because normally we are okay in race pace but start fifth or sixth but we arrive too late into the leading group so if we start already at the front we can be fast and have more possibilities.

"We will face a different car to drive with heavy fuel, old tyres, tyres degrading. We will arrive at the end of the stint sideways in all the corners. As we have seen there is not much room for mistakes if you go a little bit offline it's even worse, the grip is like driving on ice sometimes and you can go on the grass and you can hit one of those kerbs as well, so it's worse than Monaco! It's a challenge for us and tomorrow we need to be careful. But a race win is not out of the question."