French GP: McLaren Saturday qualifying notes

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow's French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours from second on the grid. Fernando Alonso pitted after his first lap in the final part of qualifying with a gearbox problem resulting in the ...

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow's French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours from second on the grid. Fernando Alonso pitted after his first lap in the final part of qualifying with a gearbox problem resulting in the Spaniard having to start from 10th position. In Saturday's qualifying, Lewis set a time of 1m15.104 and missed his third pole position in a row by only seven hundredths of a second.

Lewis Hamilton:

"I think starting from the first row is a very good basis for tomorrow's race. The team worked very well; improving in all the practice sessions and the balance of my car is extremely good. On my final lap in Q3 I braked a bit late into turn 15 and ran wide. Without this mistake the pole position would have been possible for me today - I had it there. With our strategy we should be in good shape and I am looking forward to the race tomorrow."

Fernando Alonso:

"It has not been an easy day so far in terms of luck, but hopefully we can turn things around tomorrow. I had a brake sensor issue in this morning's practice which cost me some time, and then a gearbox problem in the final qualifying. It's a relatively new experience for me as I have had no problems for such a long time."

"We will look at the car when it comes back from Parc Ferme and take things from there. However anything can happen in the race, and we will work as hard as we can to score some important points. Also some people say it may be raining which will lead to some uncertainties which we might be able to benefit from."

Ron Dennis:

"So far this year we have not suffered from any major technical problems during race weekends and it's disappointing that the first one ruined Fernando's qualifying session today. He had the speed to qualify on the front row."

"However with a good strategy he should be able to make up some positions in tomorrow's race, and with the suspected rain adding some unpredictability we may be able to turn this to our advantage. Lewis had a trouble-free qualifying, and his front row position should give him every opportunity for a strong podium finish."

Norbert Haug:

"We have had the best possible level of reliability throughout the season so far, but today Fernando had to stop with a gearbox problem. Sorry for Fernando, everybody in the team will give it everything to fix today's problem."

"With his speed, Fernando will still have a chance for a good result tomorrow. Lewis again showed a great and consistent performance, and he will line up on the front row of the grid for the fourth consecutive time which is a great achievement."

Chassis allocation
Fernando Alonso: MP4-22 06
Lewis Hamilton: MP4-22 04
T-car: MP4-22 05
Spare: MP4-22 03

-credit: mclaren

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Norbert Haug , Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes , McLaren