• Indian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Alonso eyeing 'random' victory chance

ESPN Staff
October 26, 2013 « Hamilton surprised by Merc positions | Tyres caught me out - Grosjean »
Fernando Alonso will start from eighth on the medium tyre © Getty Images
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Fernando Alonso believes he has a chance of winning the Indian Grand Prix from eighth place as a result of the "random" soft tyre.

While the top three of Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton will all start the race on the soft tyre, Alonso has chosen the same route as fourth-placed Mark Webber and will start on the mediums. The soft is not expected to last for more than a maximum of ten laps at a slow pace, and Alonso says that opens up his chances of even winning the race.

Asked if a podium was possible on Sunday, Alonso replied: "It will depend how the soft tyres behave but I think so.

"If we have the pace and the car is responding well like it did in qualifying with a good performance, the soft has some problems, people start pitting and going in to heavy traffic then maybe the race win will be between Webber and me. If the soft tyres are lasting longer than expected and they go much longer on the first stint, it will be difficult to recover places.

"So it's not in our hands, it's not in the strategy's hands, it's in the coin because nobody knows how the soft tyres will behave. On Friday I did 15 or 16 laps on the soft tyres - not in a very good pace but I did some laps - and this morning I did three. So I think set to set it depends; it's a random tyre and you need to be lucky with the set you put on tomorrow."

Alonso added that his pace in Q2 - when he was just 0.3s off Vettel on soft tyres - couldn't influence his decision to start on the mediums.

"You need to decide and commit to one strategy already in Q1 because you have to use different sets of tyres in Q1, Q2 etc to have the opportunity in Q3 to choose the best one. Here is tough to make a decision; it depends how many laps the soft will last tomorrow so it's 50:50. The best thing I think for the team was to put one car on one strategy and one car on the other strategy to maximise the points for the team and I think Felipe and me were happy to help the team maximise it with the different strategy and tomorrow hopefully score more points than Mercedes."

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