Fernando Alonso insisted he was happy with Ferrari’s Italian Grand Prix qualifying tactics despite the team appearing to squander its chances with an unsuccessful slipstreaming bid.
Ferrari practiced lining up its drivers so they could tow each other on consecutive laps during the morning session. It then employed the same strategy for Q3, with Felipe Massa running ahead of Alonso.
Radio broadcasts seemed to suggest that Alonso was unhappy with how the tactics were implemented, with Massa too far ahead and the team then abandoning the plan during the final run. The Spaniard only qualified fifth, behind his team-mate as well as the two Red Bulls and qualifying sensation Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber. However, Alonso was adamant that all had gone smoothly.
“It was perfect,” said Alonso. “We planned to have [Massa] a little bit in front and he was helping me out on the straights. An extra tenth or something was thanks to him.”
He insisted he was actually buoyed by how Ferrari had fared in qualifying, with Mercedes and Lotus both in its wake.
“It was a very good qualifying for us,” said Alonso. “We were fighting with the top guys, finally, after some qualifying sessions where we were not so good. We had a good feeling at Spa as well but then the rain came and it was not so good in Q3. Today we were better and we qualified at the front.”