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Fernando Alonso Q&A: Making Q3 wasn’t a priority; scoring points is

19 Sep 2015

Having been inside the top ten for much of the weekend in practice, it seemed that Fernando Alonso might be able to wrest his McLaren into Q3 for the first time this season in Singapore. In the end, that didn’t happen, but as the Spaniard tells us, lining up in 12th is not necessarily a major disadvantage to achieving his primary objective…

Q: Fernando, always in the top ten in the practice sessions – and then out in Q2 in qualifying – is that a disappointment for you?

Fernando Alonso: No not really. Practice is practice and in qualifying everybody tries to push a magic button to release some extra power – and we don’t have that yet. We are able to fight with the ‘medium’ pack here – and that is not too bad. Eleventh or twelfth is a realistic position - half a second from the top ten. I felt pretty comfortable – and my gap to Jenson (Button) was the biggest of the year so I don’t have much to complain about.

Q: How do you see your race unfolding – and what result will you end up with?

FA: Points should be possible. In reality Q3 wasn’t the highest priority for us today. For sure it would help to start from further up the grid, but sometimes you start from within Q3 and you have used all the sets of tyres available and sometimes you start from P12 and you still have a set of new tyres. Scoring points is the highest priority for us – and we will give it all to get there tomorrow.

Q: Would Q3 have been possible without the double yellow flag?

FA: I don’t know. Probably I lost eleventh – but not Q3.

Q: What do you make of the grid, especially seeing Mercedes down on the third row?

FA: Nice. It’s good to have a new mix for this race. We have seen so many Mercedes pole positions so far this year! Especially the performance of Red Bull was good to see – Ferrari anyway has been strong lately.

Q: Speaking of Red Bull: Renault has reportedly decided to no longer supply engines to teams in the future, but they may race as a fully-fledged team. What is your feeling about this, since you worked successfully with Renault for many years of your career?

FA: I don’t really know any insights or details about their decision making. Renault is a big manufacturer and they have a big history behind them in Formula One, so I think if they decide to stay [in the sport] it would be the best for all of us. Renault and Formula One have a very strong link together.

Q: What is your routine before stepping into the car right before the race?

FA: I don’t have anything really special. I’m talking to the engineers and memorise all the things that I need to do before the race starts, as well as the procedures that need to be done for the start. Of course I prepare myself with the helmet, gloves and the HANS device. As anyone else I try to make it as comfortable in the car as possible.

Q: Is the Singapore track more demanding for the drivers because it is a night race?

FA: It is a very demanding track. Not so much because of the darkness, but more because the humidity and the overall physical demands of the circuit. This race is one of the longest, it is almost two hours long, so it is quite intense on keeping the concentration and staying focused up until the last lap. We are trying to drink as much as possible throughout the weekend, and for sure concentrate on pushing the entire race up until the last lap.

Q: All of Formula One is trying to stay on European time. Is this difficult for you?

FA: I like it, as you should not wake up any time before noon, or even later. This is what I am doing in my everyday life at home anyways so it is not very difficult for me. (laughs)

Q: This track can punish poor grid positions as overtaking is quite difficult…

FA: I may start from P12 – but I tell you I will be in the points in the first corner!

Q: But staying there might be difficult…

FA: Let’s wait and see. I will talk to my car!