Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2011

Alonso hails “perfect lap” for fourth

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2011
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2011

Fernando Alonso was thrilled with his lap which put him fourth on the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix.

He said: “I did a perfect lap: I reckon that if I tried to repeat it twenty times, I could not do better.

“When you do a lap like that it?s hard to put into words what one feels: always being on the limit, in every corner is a really special feeling for a driver. I am very happy with this result, because we have never made it to the second row this year.”

Alonso qualified three-thousandths of a second behind Lewis Hamilton and nine-tenths of a second ahead of his team mate.

However he was a second slower than pole sitter Mark Webber.

Alonso said: “Sure, pole position is still a long way off: today, Red Bull was once again out of reach and we must work hard to try and get closer.

“This morning we ran some set-up changes on the car that did not produce the results we were expecting, also partly down to the conditions changing in terms of wind direction. We went back to what we had before for qualifying and instantly it was better.

“In general, we have made a step forward in performance terms, thanks to the updates we have brought here. So far, in the races we have gone better than in qualifying and so I think we can be in the fight for the podium.

“It will be tough at the start because the McLarens always get off the line well and then they have one more new set of soft tyres than we do.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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48 comments on “Alonso hails “perfect lap” for fourth”

  1. Best driver out there today for sure. If he gets a good start I expect a very good chance for the win.

    1. The Red bulls where a whole second faster though, Even if the Ferrari has great race pace, a whole second?

    2. Its really nice to see Alonso on this kind of form again.

      It does promise some very good racing for tomorrow as well. Wouldn’t it be great if he and Hamilton could really challenge for the race win, or at least dice for second place with Vettel.

    3. I would agree that yesterday Alonso was on form. Which I’d say is a very welcome addition for the racing, and if he can string together a few more perfect laps who knows. I find it very hard to like alonso as a person (based purely I admit, on how he comes across on screen). But I have no trouble admitting he is a brilliant, fast, highly talented driver. Same thing with hamilton, he is a bit of a d**k. But brilliant. Vettel…also a d**k but very fast if theres no-one in front of him, without doubt less of a complete package than the other two…

      hamilton vs Alonso I dont know, there are lots of people out there who simply say (hamilton as a rookie had alonso…) but I think its probably a little more complicated than that.

  2. And I’m happy for him as he has had his best qualifying this year!

    1. Same here man. Its high time he broke the 5th position jinx, and qualified higher.

      I actually thought he would struggle this weekend, and I put him outside my top 5 for the prediction championship, but he pulled off something stellar to put that Ferrari in P4.

  3. And it’s remarkable that he’s still about a second off, against some Red Bull drivers who probably wouldn’t say the same thing i.e:they pulled off the perfect best ever lap, ever.

    1. That what was impression too. A brilliant lap from Alonso who deserves the credit and a moment of pride, but it suggests too that Red Bull are as distant as ever, maybe even more, without breaking sweat.

      1. Weren’t they about 1.2 seconds faster then the rest in Spain as well?

        Its got a lot to do with this circuit being perfect for the Red Bull, especially with the DRS use in qualifying.

        1. You mean last year? I do think so, so really the other teams have improved since then!

      2. And the fact that Ferrari is delighted with P4 on the grid shows the heights from which the team has fallen – surely not the expectation when Alonso made the much hyped move to Maranello at the end of 2009.

        1. It’s Alonso expressing delight at nailing the perfect lap, not Ferrari being happy with fourth on the grid. There’s a big difference between being satisfied with extracting 100% from your machinery and being satisfied with your position in the pecking order.

          1. What he said ^ x2

  4. A mighty performance? Yes. Hugely arrogant? Yes

    1. How was that arogant. FA certainly can be, but all he said was he would not be able to beat that in 20 times, not anyone else.

      FA was merely comparing that lap with others.

      As usual the anti-FA remarks come fast & loose…

      1. Geordie Porker
        21st May 2011, 18:25

        +1 MW – I certainly do not like FA at all, but in this case I think he just sounds like a guy who is extremely happy (and a little surprised) at how well it went for him.

        Good effort FA, here’s hoping that he or LH can get amongst the Red Bulls early on.

    2. how is that arrogant?? amazing lap.

    3. No way is that arrogant.

    4. I agree, to qualify in front of Button and only 0,003 behind Hamilton – the nerve this guy has :)

    5. So arrogant, ridiculous to be proud when you pull off the best lap you think you could have done on the weekend. God forbid that a driver show some emotion. ;)

      I would far rather Alonso pull a perfect lap and be happy about it, than he pull a perfect lap and say ‘err, it was fine, only P4, which is crap, ferrari need to fire more people’ with a glum look on his face.

  5. I was surprised that he got between Jenson and Lewis, and then I heard the conversation with Domenicali on the radio, which confirmed what a drive it was. Mind you, I’m not a fan of him, but here he deserves the credits!

  6. He may be getting old, but he still has it!

    1. OI you cheeky sod!, he’s the same age as me!,thats not old!

      1. I’m even older than you and I still have it, although soon they’ll no doubt change what “it” is and I’ll get tired and confused.

        More so.

  7. Great lap? Indeed.

    But it says a lot about the Ferrari that on a great lap he could beat only one of two McLarens doing normal good laps, however close it was.

    1. You do have to wonder, how much that funny rear wing would have helped there. So far the Ferrari is still no match for the two fastest cars on qualli pace.

      Luckily the race gets them a bit closer to enjoy a good fight.

      1. You do have to wonder, how much that funny rear wing would have helped there.

        Fernando said that the new rear wing would be worth a tenth and a half. He was 0.003s slower than Lewis, so, in theory, he would be at least in front of Lewis.

        Lewis made two mistakes in his last lap in Q3 and had no KERS at all at that moment. I think the gap, in normal conditions, would be reasonable.

    2. You gotta remember that the Ferrari is pretty damn strong during the race.

    3. Icthyes,

      My point exactly. There’s nothing to be particularly happy about for him. OK, as Tim replied to my comment, he was satisfied with his lap, but does that mean he didn’t do a good job at the other qualifying sessions this year?

      What good is a satisfying lap if you’re a second away from pole? Nothing the Scuderia does seems to be working. They’re only drifting farther away.

  8. At the same time, Ferrari’s best effort is still 1 second off Red Bull.

    I’m getting fed up with the rest of the teams letting Red Bull get away like that. Is it really that hard?

    1. I pray you’re being sarcastic..

  9. waiting for such a perfect race

  10. woopee do…the big baby in 4th…so…your point is what??? pathetic, winging, moaning idiot!!

    1. I assume thats the best you could possibly muster……………..

      1. +1 :-)
        Grant, chill dude…

    2. If you could quote a line where he is ‘moaning’ or being pathetic i’d love to read it!

  11. I wonder if button is secretly delighted with alonso’s lap …gets him on the clean side for a change

    as alonso has now used all his fresh tyres to achieve this , button shouldn’t be too worried about getting past him

    and , despite his whinges , I wouldn’t be at all surprised if button makes a better fist of the new hards than the others , even to the extent of only 2 stopping !

    these new tyres are reputed to only operate than lower slip angles than the bridgestones , and if there is anyone better at keeping the wheels in line than button ,I don’t know who it is !

  12. I was really happy for him in quali, to see his reaction in the car and hear him on the radio really made the session for me, it really doesn’t say much for the car though.

  13. Surprised he was happy to say it was ‘perfect’ lap and only managed 4th…

    1. Perfect in the sense that he got the most possible out of his machinery, not perfect in that he was fastest.

    2. well have a look where Massa is then…

  14. Cluffy_Wedge
    21st May 2011, 20:38

    I am not an Alonso fan, but he vastly outperformed the current status of Ferrari to spilt Jenson and Lewis and for that he deserves credit.

  15. box this lap
    21st May 2011, 21:52

    And again, Alonso in the McLaren sandwich!

    1. With Ham too, nice. =P

  16. Fantastic words from Alonso. He is doing such a fantastic job of keeping his team motivated and more importantly, he seems really genuine in his approach. Best of luck tomorrow Fernando!

  17. Haven’t he oversteer in the final corner I think he could have been in P3 but again a good lap will be great to watch him start alongside Hamilton.

  18. The last Neanderthal (@)
    22nd May 2011, 3:38

    Nowadays Alonso is the best driver in F1,
    sadly without any chance of wining today only because of inferior equipment.
    I have my favorite driver and it is not Alonso but I still regard him as the best or
    at the least in top 2 ;-)….. (fighting for first spot with my favorite)

  19. Look forward to Nando’s ‘never give up’ attitude. A very much respected driver in F1.

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