• Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying

Alonso hails 'perfect lap'

ESPNF1 Staff
May 21, 2011 « Hamilton aiming to beat Red Bulls into turn one | »
Fernando Alonso was delighted to qualify on the second row for the first time this season © Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso said he drove "a perfect lap" to qualify in fourth position for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Ferrari had been well of the pace during practice, with Alonso ninth on Saturday morning, 2.5 seconds off the pace. Having used a set of soft tyres during the first qualifying session, Alonso was left having to do only one run right at the end of Q3. He pulled out an impressive lap to split the McLaren's and secure his highest grid position so far this season.

"I did a perfect lap: I reckon that if I tried to repeat it twenty times, I could not do better!" Alonso said. "When you do a lap like that it's hard to put into words what one feels: always being on the limit, in every corner is a really special feeling for a driver. I am very happy with this result, because we have never made it to the second row this year. Sure, pole position is still a long way off: today, Red Bull was once again out of reach and we must work hard to try and get closer."

Alonso said that Ferrari's poor showing in practice was due to a number of unsuccessful changes the team had made.

"This morning we ran some set-up changes on the car that did not produce the results we were expecting, also partly down to the conditions changing in terms of wind direction. We went back to what we had before for qualifying and instantly it was better. In general, we have made a step forward in performance terms, thanks to the updates we have brought here."

He also said that he was encouraged by Ferrari's race pace so far this season, but that it would be difficult to stay ahead of Button during the grand prix.

"So far, in the races we have gone better than in qualifying and so I think we can be in the fight for the podium. It will be tough at the start because the McLarens always get off the line well and then they have one more new set of soft tyres than we do."