Fernando Alonso secured tenth place in qualifying in Las Vegas and is happy with that, although he will struggle on the straights in the race
Only one race after finishing third in Brazil, Aston Martin seems to have come back down to earth. Fernando Alonso finished tenth in qualifying in Las Vegas, 0.829 seconds behind pole position. And was still satisfied with his performance: “It was good,” he says
“Overall, we are more satisfied with the car since Brazil. We had a car that was easy to drive here. We were able to push, we had the necessary confidence, even close to the walls. So yes, I’m happy with the car,” says the veteran.
“The track characteristics here are simply not good for us. We’ve been the slowest on the straights for 22 races. So it’s no surprise that we have problems when we drive the longest straight in the entire world championship.”
The analysis of the telemetry data in direct comparison with Charles Leclerc’s pole lap shows that Alonso loses practically all of his time on the straights. In corners 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 14 and 15, he is even a tick faster than the Ferrari.
The problem: “Even if we flatten the rear wing, we still lose time in the corners. It’s a compromise. But being in Q3 is a nice surprise. Now we’ll see if we can score a few points tomorrow.” Even if he could be an easy victim on the straights: “100 percent. We can’t do anything about that.”
A realistic goal from ninth on the grid. This will be more difficult for his team-mate Lance Stroll. Although the Canadian reached Q2, he was moved down five positions to 19th place because he ignored the double yellow flags in the third free practice session
Stroll drove past Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari during a yellow phase and was looking at his display, which is why he couldn’t see the flags. His display did not show them. “Must have been a system error,” he explains.
After qualifying, there was another investigation against him, again for a yellow flag offense. This time, however, Aston Martin was able to prove from the telemetry data that Stroll had taken his foot off the gas, which is why he did not receive a second penalty.
In the end, he finished 14th in Q2, six tenths of a second behind Alonso. “I actually had a good feeling in the car,” said Stroll. “But I lacked performance on the straights in Q2. Maybe something with the engine. That cost me a few tenths. “