Fernando Alonso thinks he did not have the pace to make it into Q3 in qualifying for the German Grand Prix, despite the Spaniard complaining over the McLaren-Honda team radio about losing “massive time” behind a Ferrari on his final Q2 flyer.
Alonso wound up with the 14th quickest mark in the middle segment of Saturday afternoon’s session at Hockenheim, two places and 0.132s behind team-mate Jenson Button.
The double world champion also admits he made a small mistake, though he reckons that had little impact on his lap time eventually.
“I don’t think I would have made it into Q3, but there was a Ferrari going into the pits, I did two corners behind it and lost a couple of hundredths,” said Alonso, who had shown top-10 pace in free practice.
“It wouldn’t have been enough to move into Q3 so I don’t want to complain about anything: I was 14th because I was the 14th quickest!”
“I hit a kerb quite hard, I think I probably went over a bit of dirt and lost a small part of the car, but that was nothing much. I had done a 16.3s in the first lap and I managed a 16.1s in the last one, so I didn’t lose much time with that.”
Alonso will eventually line up one spot higher than his qualifying result on the grid after 13th-placed Carlos Sainz was handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Williams’ Felipe Massa in Q2.
Coming off a strong seventh place in Hungary, the 35-year-old has singled out the start of the race to gain the most positions and have a decent shot at securing back-to-back points finishes for the first time of the season.
“We’ll try to get into the points, improve from where we’ll be starting,” Alonso added.
“We’ll try to gain some places off the line, because to gain points tomorrow we need to make places right from the start of the race.”