• Singapore Grand Prix - Qualifying

No shame in being beaten by Massa - Alonso

ESPN Staff
September 21, 2013 « Qualifying strategy paid off - Grosjean | Massa not planning to help Alonso »
Fernando Alonso: "I'm happy also to be on the clean side of the grid" © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso has shrugged off being out-qualified by Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa at the Singapore Grand Prix after he could only manage seventh place on the grid.

After struggling all weekend, Massa took sixth on the grid ahead of Alonso while both were over a second off the pace of Sebastian Vettel on pole. But Alonso said there was no shame in being beaten by Massa over one lap.

"He was on pole position in 2008 in Singapore and he is always fast, not only here but at other circuits as well," Alonso said. "I think he was struggling with confidence a little bit in practice and he was getting better and better and then by Q2 he was very competitive and in Q3 he beat me by four milliseconds, which can go one way or the other. I'm happy also to be on the clean side of the grid, it's not a big advantage, but maybe it's equal to being eight metres in front and it's always better to avoid the marbles into Turn 1."

After improved performances on the low-drag circuits of Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, Ferrari is off the pace of its rivals at the high-downforce Singapore circuit. Alonso said he did not blame the team for the lack of pace and pointed out that he was also struggling in Hungary three races ago.

"We're happy with the work the factory has done," he said. "They have worked 24 hours nonstop, and while it's true that we are not in the position we want in terms of performance it's not because they didn't try the maximum. They work day and night to bring new parts to the races and here we brought a new front wing that gave us one tenth, which was the expected time gain.

"Everything was good but our opponents are obviously not watching TV between the races and they are also improving. On a high-downforce circuit we were fourth fastest in terms of teams in Hungary and we come here and we are still fourth fastest. It's sad news for us but there is nothing we can do now apart from preparing for a perfect race tomorrow."