• Belgian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Weather masked Ferrari's improvement - Alonso

ESPN Staff
August 24, 2013 « Webber calls on/off DRS 'bizarre' | Rosberg bemoans poor timing in qualifying »
Fernando Alonso: "I think the timing was not right" © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso said the timing of his fast lap in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix let him down but is adamant Ferrari has made progress this weekend.

Alonso will start from ninth on the grid after missing out on the best conditions in Q3 when Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber took the top three places on the grid. After setting the second fastest time during a dry third practice session, Alonso admitted he had been hoping for more.

"I think the timing was not right, that was fairly obvious because we saw some cars doing a good lap at the end," he said. "This was the best time for the track and you need to be lucky because if you choose this strategy and one cloud stays a little bit longer then the circuit is very wet.

"They did a fantastic job - the drivers in the wet - which maybe we didn't do. We did a little mistake in the first lap of Q3 but fortunately the track was drying up so it didn't affect the fastest lap. There are many things that we need to try to understand better. Nothing more we can do now so we need to prepare for the race tomorrow. We need to recover nine positions tomorrow."

Alonso said Ferrari had made definite progress with the car this weekend.

"I felt a little bit more competitive today. The last qualifying was in July so we need to check tomorrow in the race [that the improvements are genuine]. Here and Monza require a different set-up, so here, Monza and Singapore will tell us how much progress we have made. It's very positive and a good sign that in the first of these three important races we saw a Ferrari fighting for the top positions in Q1 and Q2, and I'm sure tomorrow we can find some good positions tomorrow.

"All the new components that are arriving on the car are maybe not that obvious from the aesthetic. There are some steps that we have to do in terms of developing the car for more consistency. In Silverstone we understood also that the peak of the performance in the aerodynamics is nice to have, but it's also nice to have a good consistent level of downforce throughout the corner and we are working on that and the car seems to be more consistent and stable and easy to drive. There is not a revolution in aesthetic but the car is progressing well."

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