Leaving behind all the controversy of last weekend at the United States Grand Prix and with his seventh position recovered after Alpine’s last protest, the Asturian rider arrived at the Mexican Grand Prix highly motivated and eager to score more points in this final stretch of the season.
However, the weekend did not start in the way that Fernando Alonso expected and, as if that were not enough, the sensations worsened on Saturday morning, before qualifying, when neither of the two Alpines managed to get into the top ten drivers. Free Practice 3 rapids.
In Q1 at the Hermanos Rodríguez Autodrome, the two-time world champion did not suffer excessively, as he managed to advance from the round with an eleventh place, just behind his teammate, Esteban Ocon, at a distance of 0.837s from the best time.
In the second round of the qualifying round everything got complicated, as expected, but the Alpine driver was able to advance to the final Q3, although not without suffering, as he crossed the checkered flag in tenth place with only 0.053s advantage over Daniel Ricciardo, 11th and first of those eliminated.
Finally, Alonso could not get past ninth position, just ahead of his teammate and far from the rest of the rivals, a sign that the Asturian and Ocon will have to defend themselves tooth and nail in the race to be able to score points in the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Despite that, the Asturian was quite happy with his performance, and made it clear what his goal was for the end of the season.
“It has been a difficult day, since FP3 we have lost our rhythm a bit, and in Q1 I think we passed 13th, while in Q2 we were 10th, by a hair’s breadth, and now, in Q3, being 9th, I am happy leaving on the clean side”, said the Oviedo to the DAZN F1 microphones. “In the end we had a clean lap without much trouble in the preparation lap in the last sector, but we weren’t too fast today, let’s see tomorrow.”
Regarding the change of configuration regarding the work in free practice on the Mexican track, the Alpine rider assured: “We focused on cooling, yesterday in FP2 it went fairly well, but in FP3 and at night we made several modifications to be able to surviving tomorrow [in the race] with the temperatures, losing a bit of performance today [in qualifying]. Hopefully we’ll see the checkered flag and score some points.”
“We’ll try to get a good start, Lando [Norris] starts eighth, so hopefully we can pass him there, and then I think the red tyres, the soft ones, haven’t worked too well for us, so tomorrow if we manage to avoid them in the race I think We will go a little faster”, explained the Spaniard.
With this result, Fernando Alonso beat his teammate Esteban Ocon mathematically in the qualifying duel, but it is not something he pays much attention to: “The truth is that this year has been a bit strange, the important thing now is to help Alpine to finish fourth [in the constructors’ championship]”.
“We are going to enjoy with them, it is the team of my history in Formula 1, Renault, and the ones that gave me the opportunity to return to this sport last year, so I am going to help them in whatever way I can,” said the two-time champion. of the world of the highest category of motorsport.
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