Alonso brimming with confidence in Styria after third consecutive top-10 qualifying
Fernando Alonso qualified ninth for the Styrian Grand Prix but will start eighth thanks to Yuki Tsunoda’s post-qualifying penalty, and the Alpine driver said he’s tapped into a rich vein of confidence to produce another strong Saturday result.
Having logged just two top 10 starts in the first five Grands Prix, Alonso has now secured his third consecutive top 10 start with P9 at the Red Bull Ring. Tsunoda’s three-place grid penalty boosted his starting position to eighth, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Williams’ George Russell also enjoying a promotion.
Asked if he was more confident, given another run into the top 10 on Saturday, Alonso replied: “I am happier. I am definitely confident now with the car, able to feel the tyres more to be able to extract the maximum on Saturdays. Sundays, they were not a problem even at the beginning of the year but Saturdays, they were, and now I feel a little bit better.
“But it was a difficult Saturday, I think, for everybody. We felt more competitive yesterday than today. FP3, it was already a sign that we lost a bit of performance today. And yes, in quali there is no room for a mistake; within two tenths, everybody, it’s quite stressful – and also the track limits in the last two corners. So, this was adding pressure for everybody but happy with top 10, [and I am] happy with ninth,” he added.
With a 40% chance of rain on Sunday – a moderate chance of rain according to F1.com’s weather forecast – Alonso said that there’s an added layer of jeopardy threatening the Styrian Grand Prix as the Free Practice sessions were held in dry conditions.
“I’m happy as we are now but it is true that we have forecasts of rain tomorrow and if that happens it’s going to be a little bit unknown for everybody,” he said. “I would prefer to have free practice in the wet just to set-up things but it didn’t happen this weekend, so if it rains tomorrow it’s the same for everybody – we will take it.”
The two-time champion goes into the Styrian Grand Prix hoping for a third consecutive top 10 finish after P6 at Baku and P8 in France.