HOT STUFF FROM ALONSO Diligent work on fine-tuning chassis set-up and some inspired driving netted European Minardi F1 driver, Fernando Alonso, an excellent 18th fastest time today in qualifying for tomorrowâ€™s Grand Prix of Hungary. The young...
HOT STUFF FROM ALONSO
Diligent work on fine-tuning chassis set-up and some inspired driving netted European Minardi F1 driver, Fernando Alonso, an excellent 18th fastest time today in qualifying for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Hungary. The young Spaniard’s quickest time of the afternoon session was only 3.5 seconds slower than the scintillating lap with which Michael Schumacher claimed pole position, and only a tenth of a second slower than the pole-winning time from last year. Team mate, Tarso Marques, unfortunately lost 25 minutes during the first of this morning’s practice sessions while a sensor was changed, and then struggled to find a suitable handling balance for his car around the twisting Hungaroring circuit. He nonetheless qualified 22nd, and it is hoped that overnight changes will improve the competitiveness of his car for tomorrow’s race.
“Today I really felt competitive with my car. Everything went very well, the new gearbox and the revised aerodynamic package helping the car to perform much better. Now we are in a position to fight our rivals more effectively and to try to improve our grid positions. I lost maybe a tenth of a second on my last run, but I gave the maximum I could. Perhaps I could have improved just a little bit, but frankly, I believe I pushed to the limit this afternoon.”
“Unfortunately, the chassis balance wasn’t good this afternoon and, owing to the need to change a sensor, there was not enough time to make any useful changes to the set-up. In fact, I think our biggest problem today may have been the engine, which felt down on power - we were faster in the corners compared with this morning, but my lap times turned out to be slower.”
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal
“Two drivers drove outstanding laps in this afternoon’s qualifying session: one was Michael Schumacher and the other, Fernando Alonso. The times they set in their respective cars indicate both extracted the maximum possible from the machinery at their disposal. To say the team is pleased would be gross understatement. Regrettably, Tarso struggled to get the most out of today’s qualifying session and the team will be looking very closely at all the technical data to see if it can isolate the cause of his difficulties. As ever, the team is looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”