Alonso misses Q3 as Ferrari struggle

Fernando Alonso will start Ferrari’s 800th Grand Prix from 12th place tomorrow after a disappointing qualifying session in Turkey.

He was out-qualified by team mate Felipe Massa for the first time since the first round of the season (excluding Monaco where Alonso did not participate in qualifying).

In a closely-fought second part of qualifying, he missed out on Q3 by 0.174 seconds. He said afterwards, “We struggled in Q1, ninth and tenth, and then in Q2 we couldn’t improve the time by much and we were out.”

Massa improved his Q1 time by eight tenths of a second in Q2, whereas Alonso only found two tenths. Replays showed he out-braked himself at turn 12 in his penultimate lap.

Both Ferraris struggled to beat the Mercedes and Renaults in their weakest performance so far this year, suggesting they are falling behind in the development race.

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36 comments on Alonso misses Q3 as Ferrari struggle

  1. Seems like Ferrari aren’t doing much to the car latetly, hopefully it’s because they are working on this rumoured “B” spec super diffuser car. After the first 3-4 races they looked to be slightly behind in qualifying but the best on race pace. Now there just goind backwords, even Petrov finished ahead of Alonso.

    • steph said on 29th May 2010, 14:24

      They apparently have some aggressive update planned soon. ferrari and Alonso made a big mistake today though.
      Anyway, Mclaren are all over the place with consistency so that’s adding to it. One race they’re ahead of Ferrari the next they aren’t.

      • Which all works perfectly for Red Bull but still how the energy drinks company must be ruing their missed opportunities at the start of the season as it now seems that Mclaren has closed their qualifying advantage to only a few tenths on tracks with high speed corners, since Barcelona.

        • sato113 said on 29th May 2010, 14:40

          and with heavy braking Montreal coming up next, I’m slightly concerned about how RBR’s unreliable brakes will fare.

          • Bigbadderboom said on 29th May 2010, 14:58

            Great Point sato113, given vettels history with mechanical failures, especially those concerning brakes, interesting time for Red Bulls stress testing dept.

          • Yes for Vettel do Webber doesn’t seem to encounter the same sort of problems. Perhaps by Montreal they can fine tune their f-duct as it will be dearly needed on that particular track. If they can get some more top speed on the straights, the rest of Montreal circuit is like Monaco and we know how strong they were there and not so McLaren.

    • MigueLP said on 29th May 2010, 17:58

      on the first 3rd of the season we could say without any doubt 1ST REDBULL 2ND ALONSO 3RD HAM IN TErMS OF PACE but unlucky redbull made mclaren a lot closer not ham but Buttton now i think it is possible for ham to win this one and maybe steal this champ for now on that would be very dissapointing for redbull

  2. sato113 said on 29th May 2010, 14:39

    at first glance i thought it said ‘Fernando Alonso will start 800th’ tomorrow!

    clearly the ferrari was not on the limit for him as Massa qualified 4 places infront.

  3. iBlaze said on 29th May 2010, 14:46

    “me missed out on Q3 by 0.174 seconds”

    That’s a good effort Keith – I can see Montezemolo come knocking on your door soon if you keep it up! :D

    All jokes aside, Alonso does seem to be making a lot of mistakes since joining Ferrari. Very out of character for him. Maybe he is trying too hard, I don’t know, but right now he is reminding me a lot of what happened to Raikkonen at Ferrari.

    • DaveW said on 29th May 2010, 14:50

      Maybe this is what happens when your team books Robert Kubica.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th May 2010, 15:41

      Fixed, thanks iBlaze!

    • MigueLP said on 29th May 2010, 18:01

      i dont want kub it may be a bad partnership too much competition between friends and Raikkonen for me was the only replacement for schumacher. last year he was brilliant the f60 was drifting all around but he made a good job but his motivation made his performances be a lot irregular only when he got the money from the contract 16m he regain his motivation

      • Mike said on 30th May 2010, 3:52

        Btw I saw Kimi doing his rallying, he is obviously still learning, but he’s getting there. it’s good to see him actually enjoying himself!

    • Praveen Titus said on 29th May 2010, 19:41

      Is it officially panic time for Alonso and Ferrari? Nothing they do seems to work. And Alonso doesn’t seem to be Alonso anymore!

      Following his world championship assaults, he failed to make use of a great McLaren car, then at Renault he was a big fish in a small pond (though he showed some great performances), and now he isn’t delivering with a competitive machine as well. Driving for Ferrari, and he seems to be content with getting the points – not what was expected considering Ferrari’s testing form and the Bahrain performance. Surely this is crisis time.

      Being an Alonso fan, I’m seriously considering shifting my loyalty. I expected a lot more from him. A LOT MORE!

      • Wow… your a fickle fan.

        Its a bit early to be jumping off the Alonso band wagon. He is still only 3 points out of first place. If he can score some points today and then get back into winning form, these last two races wont matter much at all.

        • Jay Menon said on 30th May 2010, 15:18

          Fickle!..you dont deserve to be an Alonso fan!

          I agree with some of the comments here, Alonso has been pushing really heard to wring that Ferrari round the corners. Yesterday was a classic example of pushing too hard, the card was really slow, not good enough to challenge at the front.

          We have to remember that Alonso is still acclimatizing to a new team and he will eventually strike the balance. He has made a few mistakes and has been very unfortunate in some cases.

          Still too early to judge. He will figure it out soon, but having said that, we have to also remember that Ferrari are a pale shadow of their days under the powerhouse leadership of Todt/Brawn/Byrne. Domeniciali will have to go if results dont improve.

  4. Daniel said on 29th May 2010, 14:59

    And probably Massa only passed to Q3 because Istanbul Park is, along with Brazil, his favorite track…

  5. rob said on 29th May 2010, 15:13

    Thats what happens when a driver has to push the car beyond its capabilities. Mistakes happen.

    An easy to drive car is only easy to drive because its not being pushed too hard.

    In my opinion, Massa drives the car to its limits, but Alonso trys to go beyond the cars limit. He is faster than Massa, but at a cost. Its sort of like a risk vs reward.

    If Farrari had given Alonso a fast enough car, he wouldn’t be making any mistakes by pushing it too hard.

    Hamilton is very much the same. He has made mistakes due to pushing the car harder than the car could handle.

    If anyone has raced a great deal on the simulators before, you will also know that consistency while pushing extremely hard is almost impossible. No drivers would push that hard during the race, unless they are on an out/in lap or overtaking. Its just not worth the risk.

    I’ve done over 1500 laps in the simulator on the Istanbul track, and on low fuel runs, the best time I could set was a ~1:26.5 every 20 or so tries. What makes me so damn impressed with F1 drivers, is they can do it first time almost every time.

    I wasn’t impressed that Alonso waited until the last 3 mins before leaving the pits to do his time. He should have done a banker lap. He had the pace, he just ran out of time. He was just way to over confident.

    • xabregas said on 29th May 2010, 15:29

      I couldn´t agree more with you.
      But tomorrow it´ll be another day. I really believe that both Ferraris are going to be strong.There are a few places for overtaking and we know ferraris treat better their tyres than most of the others.

    • US_Peter said on 30th May 2010, 7:48

      Yes. You’d think after getting caught out in the rain in Malaysia, Ferrari would’ve learned their lesson in regards to waiting until the last moment to post a time.

  6. Nuevo said on 29th May 2010, 15:51

    I dont get it, why has the Ferrari suddenly gone backwards? Rob, your comments are spot on…why would Alonso wait until the final 3 minutes???? That doesnt make any sense to me at all….

    Heres the true question..Is Ferrari slipping back into the old ways? If your any type of F1 person, you know what I mean..Im getting that feeling…again….

  7. Alfonso said on 29th May 2010, 15:55

    Must have been Kimis brother driving again…

    • VXR said on 29th May 2010, 16:43

      Let’s hope that the ‘real’ Fernando shows up in the race.

      Ferrari must remember that they no longer have the steam-rollering Brawn/Byrne/Todt/Schumacher/Bridgestone combination working for them any more. Kimi was fortunate to win his 2007 title and it doesn’t look too promising for Ferrari to win another driver title just at the moment.

  8. Ledzep4pm said on 29th May 2010, 17:20

    Orignially Ferrari were faster than McLaren, but at Barcelona McLaren have leap frogged them, Mercedes arn’t to far behind anymore either

    • VXR said on 29th May 2010, 17:41

      Ferrari were going to be the team to beat in winter testing. Having said that, Sauber weren’t going to be too far behind them either. Which, ironically, seems still to be the case.

  9. Todfod said on 29th May 2010, 17:51

    I have a feeling that Ferrari have wasted a lot of resources and time on the f-duct. While most teams were focussed on improving aerodynamic efficiency and mechanical grip, Ferrari spent most of practice evaluating a not so great f-duct system.

    I do hope Ferrari have a B spec car, and I hope they can launch it soon. I just dont see them winning the drivers or constructors title with this car.

    • Clyde said on 29th May 2010, 18:23

      I would say yes Ferrari need to update their car, they haven’t done much to the car. This to me is merely the same car they started the year with except for the F-Duct. But from the sector times – they set the car up wrong. Felipe was the fats in the 3rd twisty sector. To me (not an aero engineer) they used a lot more wing than they needed too.
      Greak site Keith -

  10. adam b said on 29th May 2010, 17:52

    i predict alonso will finish 4th and schumacher will take button on the first lap.

    • Todfod said on 29th May 2010, 18:03

      I really doubt Alonso would be able to pull a 4th. He doesnt seem too optimistic after quali… however.. i think he came make it to 6th or 7th.

  11. wasiF1 said on 29th May 2010, 18:28

    I think that it’s up to Mclaren based on the performance that can stop Red Bull.

  12. adam23 said on 29th May 2010, 18:39

    Its a bit soon to be claiming Ferrari’s return to the dark days, but they certainly aren’t looking like a championship winning team this weekend. If Alonso was at the limit of his car then it was set up wrong, because Massa proved that Ferrari can go faster.

    They need to sort it out though, they were almost on Red Bull’s level in Bahrain, today they had the 5th best car. RB, Renault and Mclaren have outdevelopped them by about 1 second/lap.

  13. VXR said on 29th May 2010, 19:00

    I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Schumacher right behind the two RedBull’s after the first corner. Starting on the dirty side of the grid is not going to do either McLaren driver any favours. Not that it’s going to help Ferrari at all!

    Ferrari seem to have relied too much on what one of its drivers is apparently capable of doing rather than doing anything too radical with its car. I can’t see it doing any better in Canada either.

    I’ve heard a lot about this ‘B’ spec car. I’d be interested to know how they’re going to test it?

  14. Electrolite said on 30th May 2010, 9:48

    I think even the Renaults are catching up with them atm, let alone Mercedes overtaking them. I’ve just realised I would have put Kubica in front of Massa in terms of top 10 predictions since Malaysia, probably.

  15. sid said on 30th May 2010, 12:07

    Ferrari were the pre-season favourites…and now they are falling behind others in development. McLaren is already ahead and going by yesterday so is the Merc.

    The designers need to introspect – they had the earliest start to the design of this year’s car and still they couldn’t get it right…

    But ever an optimist I hope they ll find a second a lap from somewhere – they should stop spending so much energy on the F-Duct.

    I would expect Alonso to start on the hard rubber…thats the only advantage he has after failing to get into Q3

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