Fernando Alonso writes off Imola GP after ‘one of those days that everything went wrong’

Jamie Woodhouse
Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso wearing sunglasses.

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso.

Fernando Alonso has already set his sights beyond Imola and just wants to “finish the race, go home and think about Monaco” as he prepares for a last-row start at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Alonso’s Saturday at Imola had already got off to a rough start as he found the wall in FP3, but his day did not get any better come qualifying, the Aston Martin driver failing to clear the opening stage of qualifying, leaving him P19 on the grid.

Fernando Alonso ready to switch focus to Monaco

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Explaining that nothing went right for him on this day, Alonso would offer an apology to the Aston Martin mechanics, saying they “deserve a little bit better” than a Q1 exit after their work to get his AMR24 ready for qualifying.

“One of those days that everything went wrong,” he told media including PlanetF1.com.

“Starting in FP3 obviously with a crash, quite heavy, the mechanics did a good job to make everything ready for Q1 and then in Q1, yeah, I mean a combination of things to be honest.

“We started with fuel for the whole session, just to give me a little bit of laps and practice, just preparing some pit stops. I set a lap time at the very beginning when the car was heavy on fuel and then when the car was light at the end, and we put the last set of tyres [on], I had to box for a non-problem, they told me box.

“So it was quite painful. I asked three or four times, if for sure you want to box now?

“So yeah, I’m sorry for the mechanics, because they deserve a little bit better after the job that they have done. But yeah, one of those days that everything goes in the wrong place.”

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Aston Martin brought an extensive upgrade package with them to Imola, including a new floor, diffuser and engine cover, with Alonso feeling the team are best placed to judge the performance gains at this stage.

However, he has Monaco in mind when it comes to how Aston Martin can put a better understanding of the upgrades to proper use.

Addressing the upgrades, Alonso said: “The car felt a little bit faster this morning compared to yesterday before the crash and now into qualifying the car also felt good.

“That lap is the first lap of the day for me on soft tyres and I’m heavy on fuel, so I think there is a little bit of pace in hand.

“But yeah, the upgrades, I think the team is the one to analyse it and to comment on it. I think we have a lot of data from yesterday, especially FP1, Lance [Stroll] was with the old package and FP2 with the new package, so plenty to go through and get better and more prepared for Monaco. I think tomorrow is going to be tough.”

Expanding on his worries for race day, where he believes scoring points is an “unrealistic” target, Alonso would tell DAZN F1 that he has zero expectations for Sunday at an Imola track notoriously difficult for overtaking, so he is already looking ahead to next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Asked what he expects for Imola race day, Alonso replied: “Nothing, really nothing. Finish the race, go home and think about Monaco.

“This is the second most difficult track to overtake after Monaco. Singapore is even easier to overtake, that says it all.

“It’s going to be a race with very little or no overtakes. Starting from the last row tomorrow we are going to have a difficult race. It’s one of those days when everything turns upside down, but we have to accept it.”

Alonso’s team-mate Stroll will start from P13.

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