The Finn lost control on the exit of the tricky turn three hairpin in the closing stages of Q2 and hit the inside wall. However, he admitted that he had already slowed down prior to the accident and that traffic kept him from getting the most out of the Ferrari F14 T.
“Qualifying wasn’t straightforward today, especially because of traffic,” he said. “When I was on a quick lap, I had a car in front of me at every corner. That stopped me getting a clean lap and at the end of Q2, I spun off damaging the front wing.
“I don’t think I’d have gone quicker anyway, as I had already reduced my speed at this point, because I knew already I wouldn’t make it to Q3. It’s a shame, because compared to yesterday we have made some steps forward. In the wet we were quick and I had more feeling for the car.”
Looking ahead to the 58-lap race, he added: “We know we have a lot of work to do in every area, especially on car set-up, but at the same time, we are sure we are going in the right direction. Tomorrow’s race will be tough, the weather forecast is unclear and on top of that, with the new rules, it’s hard to predict how things will go. But it’s only the first race of the year and we will do our best to get a good result.”
His team-mate Fernando Alonso was pleased with fifth place and believes a podium finish is possible. “I think fifth is a good result in such a difficult qualifying session, especially as it’s the first time we’ve run in the wet with the new car and because from this position, a podium finish is possible, which is worth a lot of points,” said the Spaniard.
“I don’t think the consumption factor will change things too much, because when saving fuel, all the cars lose half a second. On top of that, the weather will come into play tomorrow as the forecast isn’t clear. The priority is to finish the race and to do better than the others in the coming months. I am sure that with practice, we will learn how to get the most out of the car and simplify all the procedures.”
Image courtesy of Ferrari