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.

Kanaan, Dixon to rejoin Chip Ganassi Le Mans effort

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Both Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan will be rejoining Ford Chip Ganassi Racing as part of their four-car armada at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, the team revealed late last week. Both drivers contested the event last year, with Dixon in the No. 69 entry – finishing seventh in the GTE Pro class – while Kanaan replaced an injured Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68 – finishing sixth in GTE Pro.

For Kanaan, this also represents a return to the Chip Ganassi organization, with which he contested the Verizon IndyCar Series from 2014 to 2017 before departing for A.J. Foyt Racing in 2018.

Kanaan will join Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell in the No. 67, while Dixon will reunite with Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook, the three drivers having won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, in the No. 69.

Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla, and Billy Johnson will share the No. 66 entry, with Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68.

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