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Alonso stuns F1 paddock with P7 in Spain qualifying, calls it ‘a gift’

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Fernando Alonso pulled out one of the stand-out performances of the 2017 Formula 1 season so far by dragging his McLaren-Honda MCL32 car to seventh place on the grid for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Alonso has endured a frustrating start to the 2017 season, failing to score any points amid ongoing problems with the Honda power unit that lacks both performance and reliability.

Alonso was sidelined early in practice and completed just a handful of laps on Friday, offering an ominous forecast for his home qualifying session.

However, the Spaniard managed to pull his usual trick of dragging the car far beyond its rightful position, taking seventh place on the grid in Barcelona, only trailing the Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull drivers.

“Running in the ovals, maybe I learned how to go quick on the straights as well!” Alonso joked, referring to his IndyCar test on May 3 ahead of his Indianapolis 500 run later this month.

“It was definitely a good qualifying, P7 is a gift so we will see what we can do tomorrow from here.

“This is a circuit which is difficult to overtake so we’ll try to get in position.”

This was his scenario on Friday, as noted.

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.