Alonso hoping for mixed conditions
Fernando Alonso is hoping mixed conditions play into Ferrari's hands at the Brazilian Grand Prix, with rain forecast for Sunday's race.
Alonso qualified fifth on the grid for the eighth time this season on Saturday and will start behind both Red Bulls and both McLarens. The Ferrari driver has only won once this season when a heavy shower before the British Grand Prix meant the circuit slowly dried over the course of the race. He believes similar conditions on Sunday will provide his best chance of a decent result.
"If it really rains tomorrow, it will be a very exciting and open race: no one really knows how competitive they can be in the wet and then it requires next to nothing - one lap more or less out on track at a time when the conditions change - to turn around a situation that looks set in stone," Alonso said. "It's true that for us, the problem of getting the tyres up to temperature is more acute in the wet, but then it's equally true that when the track does dry, we are quicker than our rivals: the various stages of the race at Silverstone demonstrated this to be the case.
"If however, we were to race in the dry, then maybe there will be a lot of stops because today the tyres seemed to degrade more than yesterday. The perfect recipe for the last race of the year? The four in front of us stop and me and Felipe are ahead of the rest!"
He said it was no surprise to end up fifth on the grid and was happy to be just over 0.1s slower than Lewis Hamilton's McLaren.
"My subscription to fifth place has been extended for one more Saturday! This time however, getting to my classic starting place on the grid was a bit more of a struggle than usual. We are not very pleased with the balance of the car and we were expecting a very competitive Mercedes. However, in Q3, we got much closer to the McLarens than we could have expected, while the first of the Mercedes was left a few tenths back. What this means is that we managed to get a little bit more out of it than our potential would indicate. I certainly can't say the way qualifying went was much of a surprise.