Italian Grand Prix, Saturday
Torrential rain storms made for difficult conditions in today’s qualifying session as Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet qualified in 8th and 17th places respectively for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix in Monza.
Fernando Alonso, R28-02
Nelson Piquet, R28-01
The heavy rain that has dominated the weekend returned in time for qualifying, forcing Fernando and Nelson to begin the session on extreme wet tyres. Fernando progressed through to Q2, while Nelson qualified in 17th.
Conditions continued to deteriorate for the second part of qualifying with the rain becoming even heavier. Fernando continued to show well in the wet as he progressed to the top ten shootout and secured 8th spot on the grid.
With further wet weather predicted for tomorrow, the team looks forward to building on today’s performance in what promises to be exciting race.
Fernando Alonso P8
“I am pretty satisfied today because, even if it had been dry, I don’t think that our situation would have been any easier. The track conditions were very difficult and we were able to reach Q3, which has given us a good starting position for tomorrow. Of course, the race will be tough and there are still lots of unknowns: the weather tomorrow could come and change things once again.”
Nelson Piquet P17
“I’m disappointed with my qualifying session today. Since the start of the weekend, we haven’t really been on the pace and I was expecting a difficult session. The weather this afternoon didn’t help. It’s a shame and I know that tomorrow we will have to fight hard in what looks certain to be another tricky race.”
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
“It was hard work out there today for the teams and the drivers. It was necessary to make decisions that needed to be changed rapidly because of the weather conditions. At the end of a session like that we are thankful to have no damaged cars. Fernando’s grid position is probably as good as we would have hoped for in the dry and tomorrow’s race will once again be about handling the changing weather conditions.”
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations
“A qualifying session is always a delicate exercise, even more so when it’s wet. In these conditions, you have to simply remain on track, avoid incidents, deal with the traffic, and cope with the poor visibility. Fernando made it through to Q3, which bodes well for tomorrow, even if the uncertain weather and the unknown fuel loads make for a very unpredictable race.”