Alonso: Ferrari’s pace in Spa a real surprise

Alonso: Ferrari’s pace in Spa a real surprise

Fernando Alonso admits that Ferrari’s pace during qualifying has come as a something of a surprise, on a track the Scuderia expected to struggle at.

Alonso came into this weekend expecting to be roundly beaten by the Mercedes-powered Williams cars, owing to the high-speed nature of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Despite this, Alonso equalled his season best qualifying result of fourth, ahead of both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, something of a shock for the Spaniard.

“It has been a good surprise, the weekend in general,” he told the media on Saturday afternoon. “I’m definitely happy with the result. I’m in front of the Williams, I’m one second in front of my teammate.

“We expect to have Williams quite strong here but I think today with qualifying being wet maybe they mask a little bit of their true pace. Tomorrow in dry conditions I expect them to be quite competitive.

Alonso, who has never won in Spa in his Formula 1 career, says that a repeat of his podium finish in Hungary could be on the cards come Sunday.

“I think the possibility is there, no doubt,” he explained. “I think that we are in a good position, fourth, we have some people around us with great pace, like Ricciardo, like the Williams.

“We will need to fight hard to be on the podium but we know that Mercedes even if they look very quick they have some mechanical problems in the last races so we just need to be  there ready to take any opportunity.”

Image courtesy of Octane Photographic

Dan Paddock

Dan Paddock

Dan Paddock is an FIA accredited freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist and the recently appointed Grand Prix Editor of Richland F1. Dan joined the site in July of last year as a Staff Writer, fresh off the back of completing a master’s degree in journalism. He has since gone on to represent Richland F1 at the 2014 British Grand Prix, his debut in the Formula 1 paddock. Aside from Richland F1, Dan also writes for Rumble Strip News, as well as maintaing his own modest blog.