Alonso hoping for McLaren help
Fernando Alonso says he is hoping McLaren can prevent Sebastian Vettel leading in to the first corner after he qualified fifth for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Alonso was quickest in both the first two parts of qualifying and was holding a provisional third place after the first runs in Q3. However, he was unable to improve on his final lap, as Jenson Button and then team-mate Felipe Massa lowered their times to jump ahead in to third and fourth respectively. Alonso said he didn't mind starting fifth, but that he couldn't challenge Vettel in to turn one and so would be relying on his former team McLaren to derail Vettel's victory charge.
"It's OK, obviously I prefer after the first run was a better result because we would start on the clean side and third," Alonso told the BBC. "But now we lost one row, so we're starting fifth. To be honest maybe fifth is better than fourth in a way because here there's quite a big difference (in grip level on the grid), but obviously we lost a bit of ground, especially for the first corner if we want to put Vettel in some trouble. Starting fifth is a little bit more difficult but let's hope that the McLaren can do it in the first corner."
Alonso also said that it was likely to be a long race with a lot of pit stops, which would keep him in contention for the win, but that the first few laps would be crucial to his afternoon.
"Consistency (is key), I think with the tyre degradation we saw this weekend we expect a lot of pit stops, a lot of tyre problems so we need to take care of this and we need to have a consistent pace all through the race, all 70 laps. So it's still very open, but for sure we need to do a good start and a good first couple of laps."