Fernando Alonso continued his run of misfortune in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix as, due to a mechanical problem in his car, the Asturian saw all his hopes of achieving what would have been his first pole position in ten years it faded away
Thus, the Alpine driver was condemned to start from 10th position in Sunday’s race and, as he himself recognized, he was going to give everything to get the best result, even if that meant ending up against the wall.
The two-time champion decided to start with a set of hard tyres, which conditioned his strategy, since he was unable to take advantage of the first safety car to mount the medium ones. Had he gone through the pitlane he probably wouldn’t have made it through the test on those tyres, so he continued until lap 41, when he stopped for a compound change in fourth place.
From there, he fell to 14th place, so his task for the rest of the day was to come back, something he was unable to do due to encountering a large train of cars led by Pierre Gasly. Even worse was when his Alpine began to lose pace, so he tried to go for the fastest lap at the end with another set of new mids, but to no avail.
“No words, to be honest,” he told the DAZN F1 microphones. “It’s hard to accept how everything is going in the wrong way, even though we’ve only had three races and the championship is very long, so I hope luck returns in a few appointments,” said the two-time world champion after getting off the single-seater.
“I think we will have more luck soon, but at the moment we lost a sixth position in Bahrain, another sixth or seventh in Saudi Arabia,” he acknowledged. “Without yesterday’s problem, the podium was very easy with Max [Verstappen] out.”
“I think we would have been quicker than Mercedes, and George [Russell] is on the podium so we missed an opportunity,” added Alonso, who was confident of his sixth time in the top three at Albert Park.
The Spaniard suffered a lot in his car throughout the weekend as far as the mechanical side is concerned, but he was comfortable with the driving: “The car went well, we started with the hard one, the opposite strategy, so it cost us a little to maintain the position, and when the medium began to fall. That’s when I started to think that sixth or seventh place was possible, the rhythm was there”.
“In the strategy, the idea was to go hard and medium, which is what I tried, stopping on lap 22 or 24, but a safety car there regrouped the group and we had to say goodbye to the strategy,” Alonso explained.
His pit stop came at a difficult time, and he fell behind a group that he couldn’t overtake due to the characteristics of the track: “It was difficult, because when you’re in a one-on-one you can go through with the DRS, but when there are four cars , everyone opening the DRS, it was impossible. We can’t look back, and in Imola we have another chance.”
“It’s still difficult to overtake, it always will be, but it’s better. In some moments, warming up even when we got to the grid, it was difficult to drive”, sentenced the #14.