• Singapore Grand Prix - Qualifying

Alonso targets beating three rivals

ESPN Staff
September 22, 2012 « Vettel unable to explain lack of pace in Q3 | 'Mercedes offer him much greater freedom on the commercial side' »
Fernando Alonso was 0.9s off Lewis Hamilton's pole position time in Singapore © Getty Images
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Fernando Alonso is targeting finishing ahead of three of his four title rivals after qualifying in fifth place for the Singapore Grand Prix.

Of the drivers with a realistic chance of winning the championship, Kimi Raikkonen and Mark Webber both start behind Alonso, with pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel ahead. Alonso said that he was in a similar situation of starting in a less than ideal position last time out at Monza and used that race as an example of how quickly things can turn around on a Sunday.

"Even in Monza we started tenth - we were maybe not in the best position - but we saw on lap 33 Vettel out of the race, on lap 37 we saw [Jenson] Button out of the race, so tomorrow we'll try to do our race and tomorrow will be the points for everybody, not today," Alonso said. "To win the race you need a little bit more pace than what we have at the moment, I think we cannot win with the pace we have now. But we are fighting for a world championship and we have two of our main opponents in front and two behind; we'll see if we can finish in front of at least three of them tomorrow."

Alonso also said that ensuring he finished the race would be his first objective having accepted that Ferrari would not be quick enough to challenge for the win on Sunday.

"In a way I think that we were not happy with the performance of the car this weekend, we were expecting much more or fighting closer with the top teams. But we found ourselves to be too slow yesterday and today we're 1.5 seconds from pole position so this is probably the maximum prize from this weekend. But there's nothing we can do now other than concentrate on the race and score as many points as possible tomorrow. The average position this year for me in qualifying is sixth - I'm fifth - so more or less it's the same or even better, so we could say it's been a good Saturday so far in a way.

"We need to maximise the points tomorrow; finish the race which is not that easy here. It's very demanding for the mechanical side - suspension, temperatures, brakes, gearbox - everything will be struggling tomorrow as well as concentration from a driver's point of view. And if someone wins the race and are much faster than us we congratulate them and we think for the next round."

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