Saturday, 13 April 2013

Stressed Alonso hints at a short first stint

By Editor - 14 April 2013

Fernando Alonso wary of competitors

Fernando Alonso qualified 3rd, ahead of his teammate Felipe Massa, putting the brakes on Massa’s teammate-beating qualifying streak. However, the Spaniard has more pressing concerns as he attempts to achieve Ferrari’s first win of the season.

Fernando was looking good for a pole after an impressive run in Practice 3. However, with Lewis Hamilton claiming a convincing pole, Kimi Raikonnen ahead of him and Sebastian Vettel starting on medium tyres, Fernando knows that a win is not so straight forward.

“I expect tomorrow to be fighting for the podium and hopefully for the win” said a relatively confident Alonso.

Whilst Alonso is confident of overtaking Hamilton, he is more wary of Raikkonen and Vettel.

“I think especially with Kimi we have we will have a strong opponent because normally Lotus and Kimi are the best at taking care of tyres and tomorrow we know that tyres will be the key factor.”

Alonso also hinted at the fact that Ferrari may be opting for a very short first stint on the option tyres – perhaps 2 or 3 laps, as this could allow Ferrari to undercut both Mercedes and Lotus.
 
“Pitting first will be an advantage, obviously in terms of pace. The shorter you do it [the stint], the better it is because you are quicker. ”

However, what is causing the most stress for Alonso and Ferrari is the fact that racers up to 8th place will be starting on mediums and will have a longer first stint. After the short stint on the softs, the front runners may find themselves stuck behind a mid-field train.

“The problem is that you will be in a group of cars and you destroy the second [set of] tyres running in that group.

“In this race, not only people in 11th are starting with primes, people in 9th are already starting with primes. Some people like Vettel and Button will be longer with the primes.”

With Sebastian and Jenson has opting to start on the medium tyre, both he and Jenson will leap-frog into the lead after the first set of stops. If Sebastian is able to drive a controlled race, he may find himself on the top step of the podium with a surprising win from 9th on the grid.

In response to a statement that the race will be very exciting, Alonso replied with “For you yes, for us, very stressful”

Although a podium is likely for Fernando, the Spaniard is eager to bridge the points gap to Sebastian Vettel with a victory in China. Only a combination of clever strategy and a stunning drive from Alonso can achieve this.

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