• Hungarian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Alonso focused on defending championship lead

ESPN Staff
July 28, 2012 « Vettel struggles to maximise RB8 | Last run in Q2 hurts Webber »
Fernando Alonso was nearly a second slower than Lewis Hamilton in qualifying © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso is focused on keeping Mark Webber behind during the Hungarian Grand Prix after qualifying in sixth place.

Having been on pole position for the last two grands prix in wet conditions, Alonso was unable to challenge for the front row in the Hungarian heat and had to settle for sixth - 0.9s off Lewis Hamilton's pole position time. His championship lead over Mark Webber currently stands at 34 points and Alonso admitted that he was focusing on protecting that lead this weekend now he knows he doesn't have the pace to run at the front in dry conditions.

"I think we have to be honest and we are not in a position to be as quick as the leaders here," Alonso said. "We are nine tenths off the pole position today so the victory tomorrow is difficult for us. We need some strange race or maybe some wet conditions or something like that, then it may happen.

"At the moment we are happy with sixth. At the moment, as I said, the first priority is the championship, Webber is second at the moment; he start's 11th, we start sixth, so hopefully we can keep him behind tomorrow."

Alonso said it wasn't a surprise to be so far off the pace, insisting it was a demonstration of Ferrari's true pace in dry conditions at present and calling on the team to improve.

"It's more or less as we expected. We saw McLaren was very strong in Germany and then we were lucky with the wet qualifying and then in the race we managed the decisions, so here it's no surprise that they're the quickest. It's something that we expected and we need to improve. We said after Germany that first we're happy with the points that we achieved in the first ten races; we are not happy with the performance with the car. We are honest with ourselves and we keep repeating this message but it seems that everybody keeps forgetting that we are not quick, and today is another demonstration.

"We have been racing with the same car from the last three or four races. There are no new parts on the car; this is the problem that we are losing ground to the fastest cars. After the summer break we need to hopefully bring some updates to the car that really work and close that gap a little bit because if we don't it will be too much."

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