Alonso focused on closest title rival

Alonso focused on closest title rival

29 July 2012 – Despite what he described as a 'very difficult qualifying' session on Saturday, Fernando Alonso was able to secure a top six grid position for the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Spaniard, who has claimed three victories so far this season, is hopeful of protecting his Drivers' championship lead - especially if the predicted rain falls.

"We were expecting a very difficult qualifying and so it was," Alonso explained to the gathered media after stepping out of his car. "We saw at least eight cars - two McLarens, two Force Indias, two Red Bulls and Lotus, running very competitively.

Alonso will celebrate his 31st birthday on Sunday
"Therefore, just getting to Q3 was in itself a difficult target to reach. We did it and we also managed to slightly improve the handling of the car in the final part, working on the tyre pressures and the front wing. We definitely didn’t get a perfect lap: we lost a handful of tenths in a few corners.

"All things considered, sixth place is not to be sneered at, far from it. It’s true that overtaking is definitely not easy here, but tomorrow, it might yet rain and we know that can change everything. In the dry, we are not yet able to fight for the very top places, and we are well aware of that."

Alonso, who is targeting a top four finish on Sunday afternoon, made a specific reference to his closest championship rival Mark Webber, with the Australian starting back in 11th place after a surprise elimination from the second phase of qualifying.

"Usually, in the race, the situation improves and so we hope we can finish in the top four or five when it’s time for the chequered flag," Alonso began to sum up. "Our aim will be to mark our closest rival in the Drivers’ classification and today we know we will be starting ahead of him. Let’s see what the situation will be tomorrow evening."

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