Italian GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

Fernando Alonso will start from the front row of tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix at Monza. After qualifying third, the Spaniard will benefit from a penalty to be served by Kimi Raikkonen for an engine change to move into second position on the ...

Fernando Alonso will start from the front row of tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix at Monza. After qualifying third, the Spaniard will benefit from a penalty to be served by Kimi Raikkonen for an engine change to move into second position on the grid.

Giancarlo Fisichella will start from eighth after a mistake early in his qualifying lap cost him time. As ever though, differing fuel strategies will only begin to be seen as the first cars make their pit-stops tomorrow afternoon, and the Italian is optimistic of climbing up the order as the race progresses.

Fernando Alonso:

"It was a nice lap for me. We have had a few more problems with the car than we expected this weekend, after a good test, but we worked quite a lot this morning to prepare for the race and improve the handling. Even so, I had some doubts about our speed over one single lap, but I showed the speed was there this afternoon -- which makes me even more confident for tomorrow."

"Obviously, I have been helped by Kimi's problem but that doesn't change anything for us: we know we need to finish the race with no problems, and hopefully get on the podium. That's what I will be doing tomorrow afternoon."

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"I am very disappointed after that lap. I locked up under braking for the first chicane, and lost at least half a second in that corner and on the straight afterwards. Without that, I think I could have certainly been in the top five, so obviously I am quite a long way from the potential this afternoon."

"But I am still positive for tomorrow -- we will see how much fuel the other cars have for their first stint, and I think our strategy will help me to climb some more positions."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"After a good test last week and a strong performance in practice, it was disappointing for Giancarlo to lose out so much in qualifying. Fernando put in a good, clean lap and his position on the front row tomorrow is well deserved."

"Of course, that position comes as a result of Kimi's penalty, which will put him in dangerous territory tomorrow in the opening laps. The drivers around him will know that they can afford to be very forceful with him on the way to the first chicane."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations:

"This afternoon's qualifying session confirmed that McLaren are the team to beat this weekend. From our point of view, it was disappointing that we were not able to put both cars where they should be, on the front two rows, in order to capitalise fully on Raikkonen's problems."

"Both RS25 engines have run reliably so far, after our preparation in testing last week, and the cars have been very competitive in terms of their straight line performance."

Fernando Alonso
3rd, 1:21.319
Giancarlo Fisichella
9th, 1:22.068

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso
Teams McLaren