Fernando Alonso believes his mistake at the end of his final qualifying lap for the Brazilian Grand Prix cost him his first front row of the Formula 1 season.
The Spaniard looked set for second position based on his first sector time, but went off at Turn 4 and lost over eight tenths. He finished the session in third position, a second behind polesetter Sebastian Vettel.
Ferrari driver Alonso has not qualified on the front row of the grid since last year’s German Grand Prix.
“I went off at Turn 4, I was very late and missed the corner, it was very slippery,” said Alonso. “I exited eight tenths behind. [My pace] was not enough for pole position but it was enough for second place. The lap was not completely clear today.”
Alonso reckons if the conditions remain wet for Sunday, he will have a better chance than in a dry race.
“Mixed conditions would be the best thing probably,” said the Spaniard. “With the weather forecast we have and we saw today how quick it goes from extreme to nearly dry so tomorrow will be fun.
“We know that in wet conditions we improve our performance a little bit. We were waiting for some wet races this year.”
He admitted to some pangs of frustrations at not making the most of Saturday’s chance.
“I have mixed feelings, to be honest,” said Alonso. “I am happy to be so high up on the grid finally because we normally start between seventh and 10th in the last few grands prix, which is not ideal. But I’m not totally happy with my lap.”