Fernando Alonso downplayed the significance of his radio messages to Ferrari during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.
The Spanish driver seemed angry over the radio near the end of the session regarding the slipstreaming tactics attempted by him and teammate Felipe Massa. However, Alonso said the radio message broadcast on TV gave the wrong impression, insisting he was really happy with the performance.
“I said in the radio that Felipe was a bit too far now if we want to do this, so they slowed him down a bit and we started the last attempt at the same distance as always,” said Alonso. “They didn’t put out the last radio message, when I said thank you to Felipe and thank you to the team, and that it was perfect in the end.”
He added: “With [Jean-Eric] Vergne in between we were a bit too far from each other, so I had no car in front and I said so on the radio, so Felipe waited for me at Parabolica and I could do the lap more or less at the same distance. So I have to say thanks to Felipe. We did it in Q1 and Q2 and in the end it worked well in Q3 also.”
Alonso, who qualified in fifth behind Massa, said he was much more upbeat about his race chances after rivals such as Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen faltered during the session.
“The worst part for us is the Saturdays. We have always three or four cars between us and the Red Bulls, so we pass those cars and by then they are 10 seconds ahead of us and more or less we keep that gap. So we are very happy today because hopefully tomorrow by the first corner we don’t have all those cars in front of us.”