Alonso braced for ‘extremely tough’ race in Imola on weekend where ‘everything has gone wrong’

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 20: Third placed qualifier Fernando Alonso of Spain and Aston Martin F1

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso cut a dejected figure as he followed up his crash during final practice for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with a painful Q1 exit in qualifying.

Alonso lost control of his updated car through the Rivazza complex midway through FP3, with his mechanics forced to work “tirelessly” to carry out repairs – and a gearbox change – in time for the grid-deciding session.

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from final practice at Imola as Piastri sets the pace while Alonso and Perez crash

However, while the Spaniard made it out on track, his efforts were compromised by another moment at the Variante Tamburello, which included a heart-in-mouth trip through the gravel.

2024 Emilia Romagna GP FP3: Alonso crashes to bring out red flags in final practice

He eventually wound up 19th, as the slowest runner to finish qualifying with a time on the board, after Williams racer Logan Sargeant lost his laps due to track limits violations.

Asked after qualifying how difficult it has been to drive his Aston Martin this weekend, Alonso said: “It is hard. Obviously I was lacking laps today [and] we put fuel in the car for qualifying.

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“Eventually I did my best lap on the very first lap, with a lot of fuel in the car, so I think there is more pace, but yeah, [it’s been] one of those days…”

IMOLA, ITALY - MAY 18: A detail view of the car of Fernando Alonso of Spain and Aston Martin F1

Aston Martin mechanics worked wonders to repair Alonso’s car in time for qualifying

Pushed on what lies ahead in the race, and how challenging he expects it to be, Alonso replied: “Extremely tough. I think the weekend is heavily compromised, or basically over.

“But as I said, it’s one of those weekends, one of those days that everything goes wrong, and hopefully [we’ll have] a better weekend in Monaco.”

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Alonso’s team mate, Lance Stroll, made it through to the second qualifying phase but could not get an Aston Martin into the pole position shootout, with the Canadian having to settle for 13th on the grid.


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