Alonso optimistic over race potential

Alonso optimistic over race potential

20 April 2013 – Fernando Alonso drew plenty of positives from Saturday afternoon's qualifying session for the Bahrain Grand Prix, despite falling behind Mercedes rival Nico Rosberg and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel after setting the pace in final practice.

The Ferrari driver, who aborted his final Q3 lap after failing to find time in the opening two sectors, will line-up third alongside team-mate Felipe Massa, explaining that his ability to fight for a podium finish should be easier than at previous races this season.

"I'm very, very happy with third place," said Alonso. "Today the car was very competitive in qualifying. It’s a strong position to start tomorrow's race and to fight for the podium with a bit more of a margin."

Alonso added that he did not make a specific mistake on his final flying lap, but pitted to save tyre life when he knew his best time would not be improved.

"We tried to complete the second lap as it was similar until last corner, but I saw that I was half a tenth slower," he added. "We came in to save one lap on those tyres."

In the second Ferrari, Massa's fourth place starting position comes as a result of grid penalties for Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber. The Brazilian was the only driver to post a time on the Hard compound rubber in the final shootout phase of qualifying.

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