Alonso surprised by second row grid slot

Alonso surprised by second row grid slot

23 August 2014 – Fernando Alonso has admitted to feeling surprised over his second row starting position for the Belgian Grand Prix.

With Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton two seconds clear at the front, Alonso was involved in the battle for the best of the rest title.

Although the Ferrari driver was beaten to the accolade by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, he was pleased with his afternoon behind the wheel.

"I'm definitely happy with this result. Starting from the first two rows is quite a difficult thing to achieve," Alonso explained to reporters after qualifying.

"We didn't expect to perform at this level in this qualifying. The rain definitely helped us and maybe the car performs a little bit better with this level of downforce. We managed to do a good lap."

Alonso reckons a podium could be possible, while he is hoping to exploit any reliability worries at Mercedes.

"Fourth is a good place to start the race from and there's a possibility to get on the podium," he said.

"We will need to fight hard to get a podium finish and to be ready for everything, because although Mercedes is very quick, we've also seen that they have had some reliability issues in the last few races."

Alonso's team-mate, Kimi Räikkönen, was left to lament a series of Q3 mistakes en route to eighth.

"It was OK. The conditions were quite difficult and I also made quite a few mistakes on my last lap," he said.

"The weather will decide a lot tomorrow. Ihope we make the right decisions and score a good result."

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