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Alonso upbeat after Austria qualifying, P12 ‘maximum’ result

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Fernando Alonso felt upbeat about McLaren’s display during Formula 1 qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday after qualifying 12th and only narrowly missing out on a place in Q3.

Alonso entered qualifying on the back foot after being forced to give up his upgraded ‘Spec 3’ Honda power unit after a problem was discovered overnight with the MGU-H.

Alonso was able to take P12 in qualifying on Saturday despite complaining about a lack of power towards the end of Q1, and only finished six-hundredths of a second off a Q3 spot.

“I think it was good. I was happy with the laps and the performance,” Alonso told NBCSN after the session.

“The car has felt good all weekend. This was the maximum we could achieve today. We need to wait and see.

“The team are doing their best to improve the situation. We’ve got the aerodynamic updates and spec for engine better. Now we’re a touch off Q3. It’s a positive note.

“We need to improve the reliability still. I think we’re in a position to do so. Starting P12, we’re close, with a good start or good strategy, we’re close.”

Alonso will enter Sunday’s race chasing his second straight points finish after ending McLaren’s drought in Baku two weeks ago when he finished ninth.

The Austrian Grand Prix is live on CNBC and the NBC Sports app from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

Dakar Rally video highlights from the concluding Stage 14

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET and Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

The 40th Dakar Rally is now history.

Nearly 550 competitors began the early 5,600-mile long race 15 days ago and concluded Saturday.

As we’ve done throughout the Rally, here are some key video highlights from NBCSN’s coverage of the Rally:

TRUCKS

CARS

QUADS

 

MOTORCYCLES