Alonso admits ninth exceeded expectations

Alonso admits ninth exceeded expectations

21 April 2012 – Although the ‘Tifosi’ has been left disappointed by Ferrari’s Bahrain qualifying positions of ninth and 14th, Fernando Alonso has revealed that he expected less. The Malaysia winner had already feared a tough weekend at Sakhir, a circuit which demands good traction and top speeds which the current Ferrari does not have.

“Today, we were worth a place somewhere between eighth and 12th, so ninth on the grid fits in with our current level,” Alonso commented after qualifying. “Honestly, given the characteristics of this track - which are definitely not suited to our current car - so far the weekend has not in fact gone that badly.

“To be in with a chance of making it to Q3, we had to use all three sets of Soft tyres available, so we didn’t have any left for the final part of the session. Doing a time on used tyres would have made no sense and would have forced us to start with a set of tyres that already had a few laps on them. Now we are free to choose either the Medium or the Soft for the start of a race that looks like being very hard, especially on tyres.

“The aim? To finish in the points, around sixth or seventh place. I know, it’s not brilliant, but that’s what we can do with the car we have today.”

Team-mate Felipe Massa has said that he will be watching his mirrors more than looking ahead, in what is Bahrain’s first Formula 1 race for two years.

“We know from our recent experience in Shanghai that, for us, overtaking is more complicated than for others,” the Brazilian explained. “We are suffering here, especially with a lack of traction coming out of the slower corners, and that’s why I expect we will be fighting on the defensive in the race.”

Ferrari is yet to win in Bahrain since Massa took the chequered flag in 2008.

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