Alonso uncertain about race pace despite good qualifying

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Fernando Alonso may have qualified a strong P3 in Malaysia, but the Ferrari driver has admitted that he is unsure about how he will do in the race tomorrow.

“We will try to do a good race and try and score as many points as possible,” said Alonso.

“We are not sure about the performance of the car’s race pace. Every run we do is inconsistent. We need to see how the race goes.”

He did however draw confidence from the performance in Australia, where he finished 2nd after starting down in P5.

“In Melbourne, the race pace was okay so there is no reason not to be optimistic tomorrow. We have not had big problems during the long runs on Friday [in Malaysia].”

Alonso was edged out by Sebastian Vettel and teammate Felipe Massa in qualifying. Despite Alonso being the ‘number one’ driver at Ferrari, this was the fourth race in a row where Massa qualified ahead of his double-champion teammate.

Ferrari will be pleased with their qualifying performance, and having beaten Vettel on the track on Sunday in Australia, they will be confident that Alonso could be vying for the win in Malaysia. If Felipe Massa can also get ahead of Vettel, the team could be forced to make a decision between letting their drivers race freely and risk an accident, or establishing the status quo with Alonso predictably ahead of Massa.

Toro Rosso boss hopes to see Kvyat return to Formula 1

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Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost hopes to see sacked driver Daniil Kvyat return to Formula 1 in the near future, saying the Russian “deserves” a place on the grid.

Toro Rosso dropped Kvyat twice through the 2017 season due to poor form, with his final dismissal coming after the United States Grand Prix in October.

Kvyat is no longer part of Red Bull’s motorsport program and is exploring options both inside and outside of F1 for 2018, and Tost feels he could be energized by some time away before returning.

“I am still convinced that Daniil has a very high natural speed. He was sometimes even faster than Daniel Riccardo, but somehow last year and this year he couldn’t show the potential that is within him,” Tost told the official F1 website.

“He was involved in many incidents, but in his defence I also have to say that he had many reliability issues and that didn’t help build up confidence. Being the victim of too many incidents killed the performance he would have been able to show.

“Maybe a short break – to get organized again – and probably we will see Daniil back at his usual performance level with another team.

“Sometimes he was too aggressive at the beginning of the race. The first corner was his weak point. He wanted too much in the first hundred meters – success by any means!

“That puts you under pressure – unnecessary pressure – and that never works.

“I hope for him that he gets another chance, as I think he deserves to be in F1.”