Alonso “disappointed” with his performance” after “destroying” his floor in Q1

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Fernando Alonso had his first truly difficult Saturday this year as he could only manage to qualify P9 for his home race in Barcelona tomorrow. That becomes P8 following Pierre Gasly’s penalties for blocking Sainz and Verstappen in qualifying.

The Spaniard was left on the back foot after a rare error saw him end up in the gravel trap during Q1. He damaged his floor quite badly and couldn’t show the full speed of the Aston. He held his hands up post-qualifying.

“I did a mistake, I went on the damp part of the circuit on the last corner I guess because I lost the car, and then it was very costly because that gravel completely destroyed the floor.

“Yeah, it hurts even more because it was the out lap, I was not even pushing, it wasn’t a push lap, it was the out lap.

“I’m disappointed with my performance today, hopefully I can do a better Sunday.”

Alonso admitted the handling felt strange in certain corners, but he couldn’t be sure if it was because of the damage.

“The car was moving weirdly in a few corners, but you never know if it’s just the wind or just the track conditions.

“It was a strange qualifying to see Leclerc out of Q1, Pérez and Russell out of Q2. We were struggling as well.

“It was tricky for everyone but in my case it was just my mistake, in the out lap of Q1 so that compromises everything, but the race is tomorrow.

“The car still felt competitive even with some damage on the floor. So, if we just put everything together for tomorrow then I am still optimistic that we can score many points.”

The two-time World Champion believes P2 was possible without the mistake he made in Q1. He conceded that it was a surprise to him that a 1:12.7 by Carlos Sainz was good enough for 2nd on the grid.

Alonso’s aiming to make a few places up in the race as he looks to maintain a comfortable hold on P3 in the Drivers’ Championship.

“P2. Probably even with the mistake. On the Q3 lap, I was coming to turn 10 and ran on the damp part. And, when I saw now that a 12.7 is P3 — I was surprised.

“That is why I am optimistic for tomorrow because the car seems to have a lot of pace. Top 5 and 6 has to be possible from P9.

“But, I realise that Checo is starting [behind]. So, it’s like start P10 and not P9 because he will pass by very fast. Then from that point we need to recovery four or five places. It will be tricky but we will try.”

Photo credit: Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team