Australian GP | Alonso: “Probably the best qualifying of the year for us”

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Photo: Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team

Fernando Alonso led Aston Martin’s charge on Saturday in Melbourne, seeing both cars finish inside the top six in Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

Straight line speed struggles at the first two races of the season could have resulted in a less than exciting time in Melbourne, but a rear wing upgrade has helped to reduce drag and boost top speed.

Surrounded by a tight fight for every position, the field was closely matched throughout Qualifying, despite the fact that Fernando appeared to be in the fight for pole position at one point.

“I feel good. Obviously, yeah, it was very tight, within one or two-tenths there were a lot of cars and we were on the upper part of that group in Q1 and Q2 – I think I was P2. And then in Q3, (by) a couple of hundredths we missed the first row of the grid.

“The Mercedes did a very good job, a very good job in Q3, so still probably the best qualifying of the three [races] for us. We were 0.6 (seconds off pole) in Bahrain, 0.5 in Jeddah and here 0.4 from pole position, so I think we have to be happy and let’s see tomorrow what we can do.”

The Spaniard is optimistic looking ahead to Sunday’s race, admitting that the team have better race pace than they do one lap pace, as they look to fight for a spot on the podium.

“I feel confident, I feel positive about tomorrow. Our strength is I think the long run pace so we start in the first two rows of the grid and our strengths are on Sundays – let’s use it.”