Having offered his teammate, Felipe Massa, a tow at the start of the session Alonso needed to set his time in the closing minutes of the final segment of qualifying but a problem with his rear anti roll-bar put paid to any chance of a leading qualifying position.
Ferrari’s technical director, Pat Fry, discussed the issue after qualifying:
“A problem with the rear anti-roll bar was spotted at the start of Q3 and he never really managed to put together a proper timed lap,” commented the Englishman. “It was a shame, because Felipe’s third place showed that we had the potential for a great
result in front of our home crowd.”
With Alonso having retired from the previous race in Belgium after being a helpless victim of a startline crash it is imperitive that he has a strong race this weekend but starting so far down the grid makes it exceptionally difficult to imagine him even standing on the rostrum tomorrow.
“I think I could have got pole today, but instead I find myself tenth,” said the double world champion. “[It’s] a real shame, because the car was very strong, but these things happen.”
It has been a difficult weekend for Alonso with the Spaniard having also suffered engine and gearbox issues during Friday practice. The Spaniard however was keen not to draw conclusions from these problems.
“I don’t think the failures we’ve had over the past couple of days can be linked to a speeding up of the development on the car, because they have not involved components on which we are pushing to extremes,” said Alonso.