Monaco win “very unlikely” admits Alonso

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Fernando Alonso has written off his chances of winning the Monaco Grand Prix after qualifying 6th for the race tomorrow, struggling to match the pace of pole-sitter Nico Rosberg.

“The chances of a win? Of course in Formula 1 nothing is impossible, but it’s very unlikely I think that we fight for the victory starting sixth in Monaco,” Alonso said in an interview. “Our second target is to finish ahead of our competitors in the championship – which is Kimi and Sebastian at this moment.

“But we will see. We saw the GP2 start and we know a safety car is possible here any lap. So there are many factors that might go wrong, the same as today. It was a very different qualifying, very difficult to interpret which tires to put on.”

Alonso, who won the race in 2006, was caught out by a highly-competitive field, being outqualified by Rosberg, Hamilton, Vettel, Webber and Raikkonen on Saturday.

“We know Mercedes, Lotus, Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari were competitive. Also Force India and we saw Di Resta out of Q1 in a very competitive weekend. We saw Grosjean out of Q2 in a very competitive weekend.”

Considering his practice performance, Alonso admitted that Ferrari have work to do if they are to win for a third time this season.

“We need to understand it. We were both cars in the podium in Barcelona and this morning before the qualifying we were P9 and P11 so definitely we today we were not at our best.”

Furthermore, Alonso was given a €1,000 fine for breaking the speed limit in the pit lane during Q1.

Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

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Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will enjoy his third Formula 1 test outing with the team at the end-of-season running in Abu Dhabi next week as rumors grow regarding a possible race seat for 2018.

Almost seven years after his last F1 start, Kubica’s remarkable return from severe injuries sustained in a rally accident saw him enjoy two private tests with Renault before completing running with the team in a 2017-spec car in Hungary over the summer.

Reservations over Kubica’s capabilities prompted Renault to pass on giving him a seat, instead opting to hire Carlos Sainz Jr. for next year, only for Williams to become an alternative for the Pole.

Kubica tested a 2014-spec Williams at both Silverstone and the Hungaroring in recent months, and will now sample a 2017 car when he tests at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kubica will share track time with regular Williams racer Lance Stroll and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, who has worked with Renault over the past two years but also missed out on a 2018 seat.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to confirm it will run Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin for the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tire test, alongside current race driver Lance Stroll,” a statement from the team reads.

“The Pirelli tire test will take place over two days at the Yas Marina circuit during the week following the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“On day one Robert Kubica will drive the FW40 in the morning session, before Lance Stroll takes over in the afternoon.

“On day two Sergey Sirotkin will drive in the morning and afternoon sessions before handing over to Robert in the late afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tires on behalf of the Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula 1.”

Williams denied earlier this week it has signed Kubica to partner Stroll for 2018, but indications are the deal looks very likely to go ahead, subject to the relevant paperwork and contracts being finalized.