Alonso targeting race victory from fifth row
24 August 2013 – Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso still believes he has a realistic chance of claiming victory in the Belgian Grand Prix, despite starting from the fifth row of the grid.
Although the final qualifying phase – affected by a short rain shower – failed to yield more than a ninth place starting position, the two-time World Champion is confident that his car "has the pace" to compete with the frontrunners on Sunday afternoon.
"Winning the race; I think we can do it," explained Alonso. "Spa always offers you big possibilities for a comeback, especially in terms of the unpredictable weather. We have to think positively for the race because in wet or dry conditions the car seems to perform well. If we manage to pass the people in front, we have the pace."
Alonso reckons the inconsistency of the weather was Ferrari's downfall in qualifying, with the F138 having displayed impressive pace when the conditions were stable.
"I think it was the conditions that hurt us," said Alonso. "In the wet conditions in Q1 we were first and in the dry in Q2 we were second. So I think the potential of the car was there. On the extra laps that some cars did in Q3, they got a bit lucky with the rain stopping completely – I think that helped by three or four positions. We maybe weren’t going to be fighting for pole, but I think we were in a condition for fourth, fifth or sixth."
Felipe Massa will share the fifth row with Alonso for the start of Sunday's race.