• Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Alonso reveals mechanical failure

ESPN Staff
September 8, 2012 « Tow didn't help Massa in Q3 | Button expecting tough race despite lockout »
Fernando Alonso gave his team-mate Felipe Massa a tow at the start of Q3 and then found a problem with his own car © Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso revealed that something broke in the rear of his suspension of his Ferrari which prevented him from setting a competitive time in Q3 at Monza.

Having been quickest in both the first and second parts of qualifying Alonso was looking like one of the favourites for pole position for the Italian Grand Prix. However, having not completed a competitive lap in the final part of the session, Alonso felt a problem with his car and was unable to challenge on the final runs, admitting that he only went back out in track in case another team opted not to do a lap.

"There was something that broke in the suspension," Alonso said. "It's still not clear until the car comes back from parc ferme so we will see. The car felt impossible to drive and we just completed one lap; we knew we had no time to repair the car so we just tried to complete one lap and maybe overtake one or two cars that maybe were not going out to save tyres. Everybody went out and did good laps so we didn't take any advantage from completing the lap, but nothing we can do now and I think for tomorrow we will be OK."

Alonso said that the problem only reared its head when he was out on track in Q3, leaving no time for Ferrari to react.

"In Q2 the car felt perfect, the outlap in Q3 it felt good and then when I pushed for the first attempt in Q3 I felt something wrong with the car so I said on the radio "In this lap because we need to check the car". They checked the car and they found more or less the problem from the data but they said "there is no time, there's four minutes left in Q3 so we just go out and see what we can do unfortunately". So that was the sequence."

Having been so competitive all weekend and seen Lewis Hamilton take pole position with a 1:24.010 Alonso believes he has missed out on "an easy pole position".

"I think there was no doubt this time. This time we were 1m24.1 on the hard tyre in Q1, we were 24.0 with the medium tyre in Q2 with an easy lap and then in Q3 we knew that we always had three or four tenths in the pocket so I think maybe today was let's say an easy pole position. It's never easy but today was a good chance, the car was performing well. But we start tenth so we need to take this potential of the car in to tomorrow's race and hopefully recover some positions."