Fernando Alonso believes he faces a challenge to score points in today’s Spanish Grand Prix despite qualifying inside the top 10.
Alonso will line up 10th for this afternoon’s race, meaning he will be the lowest-placed driver to start on a used set of soft tyres as required by Formula 1’s rules.
Despite his and Alpine’s strong race pace last weekend at the Portuguese Grand Prix, and team mate Esteban Ocon securing fifth on the grid at the Circuit de Catalunya, Alonso is not confident that points will be likely in today’s race.
“It’s going to be interesting to see which tyres the people behind choose to start with,” he explained.
“Obviously P10 is not the ideal position because one you start with old tyres from Q2 and then you start on the dirty side of the grid. The start performance will be also worse than the people in 11th or 13th.
“I think it’s going to be tough to get into the points tomorrow with this starting position. But we will try to grab some points if it’s one point, okay, if it’s two, if it’s four, okay, but as much as we can do to help the team.”
Alonso says the key to the race will be to be aggressive at the start and keeping an “open mind” about the team’s pit strategy.
“We have to be aggressive,” he says. “We have to make a good start, a good first corner.
“After lap two or lap three, I think the positions are more or less defined for the remainder of the race because it’s very difficult to overtake. So we need to be aggressive on that.
“And the strategy? I don’t know. I think it will depend a little bit on how we feel the tyres are after lap 10, lap 15 – how is the degradation. It was high on Friday, but then on Sunday, you don’t know.
“It’s also the temperature, the wind. So, I think we have to enter the race with an open mind in terms of a strategy and react to what we see.”
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