Alonso uncertain about race pace despite good qualifying

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Fernando Alonso may have qualified a strong P3 in Malaysia, but the Ferrari driver has admitted that he is unsure about how he will do in the race tomorrow.

“We will try to do a good race and try and score as many points as possible,” said Alonso.

“We are not sure about the performance of the car’s race pace. Every run we do is inconsistent. We need to see how the race goes.”

He did however draw confidence from the performance in Australia, where he finished 2nd after starting down in P5.

“In Melbourne, the race pace was okay so there is no reason not to be optimistic tomorrow. We have not had big problems during the long runs on Friday [in Malaysia].”

Alonso was edged out by Sebastian Vettel and teammate Felipe Massa in qualifying. Despite Alonso being the ‘number one’ driver at Ferrari, this was the fourth race in a row where Massa qualified ahead of his double-champion teammate.

Ferrari will be pleased with their qualifying performance, and having beaten Vettel on the track on Sunday in Australia, they will be confident that Alonso could be vying for the win in Malaysia. If Felipe Massa can also get ahead of Vettel, the team could be forced to make a decision between letting their drivers race freely and risk an accident, or establishing the status quo with Alonso predictably ahead of Massa.

Pagenaud leads no-tow times in Sunday practice

Photo: IndyCar
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Sunday practice ahead of Day 2 of qualifying for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 was split into two groups – one for the drivers who ended Saturday qualifying in positions 10-33, and one for the drivers who made the Fast Nine Shootout for the Pole.

In the combined times, Ryan Hunter-Reay was fastest overall. But, Simon Pagenaud topped the all-important no-tow speeds with a lap of 229.409 mph.

Pagenaud’s Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, and Will Power were second, third, and fourth on the no-tow chart – and they were also the only four drivers from the Top 9 who went out for practice.

Of the drivers who qualifying between positions 10 through 33, Alexander Rossi had the quickest no-tow speed of 227.779 mph.

Combined results are below. Qualifying begins at 2:30 p.m. ET.

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