Fernando Alonso has taken advantage of the wet conditions in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix to match his best grid position of the year for tomorrow’s race, live on NBC from 11am ET.
The Spaniard has struggled all season long with the Ferrari F138 car, causing him to lag behind Sebastian Vettel and subsequently lose the championship to the German driver in India last month. However, with the wet conditions appearing to bring the field closer together in Brazil, Alonso was able to battle through the spray to finish in third place behind Vettel and Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg.
“We know that in wet conditions normally we improve a little bit our performance,” Alonso said after qualifying. “We were waiting for some wet races this year but it came only in Brazil, but I have mixed feelings to be honest.
“Up on the grid, finally, because we start between seventh and tenth in the last five or six grands prix which is not ideal, so first three is good but not totally happy with my lap.”
Alonso explained that a mistake at turns four and five caused him to lose a good deal of time that would have allowed him to secure his first front row start since the 2012 German Grand Prix.
“I lost a lot of time, not obviously to beat Seb, he is too far in front of us, but I think for second place was not difficult. I lost something like seven or eight tenths in turn four running over the paint area and losing a lot of time there. It could be possible but I’m obviously not sad with third, and all the opportunities in front of us for tomorrow’s race starting up at the front.”
The Spaniard will be Ferrari’s best hope of beating Mercedes in the race for second place in the constructors’ championship, with the Italian marque staring down the barrel of a fifteen-point deficit heading into the final race of the season.