The Spaniard missed the whole of first practice on Friday following his Honda engine failure. But incredibly he dragged his McLaren not only into the final phase of qualifying, but then to seventh on the grid for tomorrow’s grand prix
“Running in the oval maybe I learnt to go quick in the straights. P7 is a gift. Alonso said following the session. “This is a circuit where it’s difficult to overtake so we will try to keep the position.”
“I was preparing myself yesterday for qualifying. Everything today went perfectly. It’s a nice surprise. We say the potential yesterday and today we put everything together.
“I’m happy for the team, they changed many power units and to now be P7 and feel tomorrow on the grid around the cars we should be fighting for will be really nice. He added
“Always here I find this extra motivation to take care of the car. It’s a good grand prix for me but the race is tomorrow. They don’t give out points on Saturday.”
And McLaren executive director Zak Brown:
“What a lap. The team is doing a great job. Eric and the whole crew just fantastic. Fernando at home he did it. We just need to finish where we start tomorrow.
“I might go play some tennis tonight if that brings good luck. You can’t give up. It’s good for the team.
Sky Sports commentator and former Formula One driver Martin Brundle says Fernando Alonso’s performance shows McLaren have the basis of a good car.
“He just rags the thing around. From all sorts of problems he still wants to show the world how special he is. I doubt it will do him much good come the end of the race with the fuel efficiency and other issues which may come. Brundle said.
“Once again it underlines the car is pretty good and how good he is.”