Alonso: McLaren, Red Bull, Force India are “beatable”

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If Fernando Alonso had even the faintest hope of claiming a third successive German Grand Prix victory at Hockenheim this weekend, he may as well forget it.

Ferrari once again produced an underwhelming performance on Saturday to qualify P7 and P12 as Alonso outqualified teammate Kimi Raikkonen for the seventh time this season.

Alonso’s record at Hockenheim is enviable. He has won a grand prix there on three occasions, including the last two runnings of the German Grand Prix at the track in 2010 and 2012. However, with the F14 T proving to be a very difficult car to work with, he was left to settle for seventh on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

However, Alonso is not resigning himself to a lacklustre Sunday, saying that he believes the other teams in contention for a podium finish are beatable.

“I think we need to see,” the Spaniard said. “There are always some surprises at the races. Some races we expect to be competitive and we are not; some races we find ourselves quite competitive.

“I think in front of us, we understand that Mercedes probably are too quick, it’s difficult to fight with them. But Red Bull, Force India, McLaren, they are beatable, so we can fight with them.”

Given that the raw pace of the F14 T leaves much to be desired, Alonso will be looking at other factors such as tire strategy and weather patterns to see if Ferrari can recover some positions at the front.

“It’s a race we need to manage in the best way possible with a good start, and a good understanding of the tires with these temperatures,” he said. “Try to anticipate what is the best strategy, and looking at the weather, threats of storms coming in the afternoon.

“We’ll see tomorrow. We’ll be ready for anything.”

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup