After a Friday night when track limits played a big role in qualifying, Fernando Alonso now has more Q3 appearances for this season than Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez combined.
That’s 17 to 16.
Alonso will line up fourth for Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix, the Spaniard celebrating on a night that saw his team-mate Stroll shove his trainer after failing to make it out of Q1.
Fernando Alonso has reached Q3 in all 17 of this season’s qualifying sessions
With his Aston Martin race seat reportedly on the line amidst rumours of his father Lawrence selling the F1 team or bumping Stroll into Aston Martin’s new World Endurance Championship car, Stroll was notably angry.
Finishing Q1 down in 17th place where he was 1.1s slower than his team-mate Alonso, he threw his steering wheel down in disgust before shoving his trainer as he stormed out of the back of the Aston Martin garage.
It was not a good look for the driver.
But he wasn’t the only one frustrated with Red Bull’s Perez failing to make it into Q3 as he lost a lap time due to a track limit violation. As such he’ll like up P13 on Sunday’s grid.
In sharp contrast, Alonso was once again through to Q3 for the 17th time this season. That’s one more Q3 showing than Stroll and Perez combined.
A curt post-qualifying interview said it all
Speaking on Formula One Management’s broadcast after qualifying, an obligation for the drivers, Stroll had very little to say but that in itself said it all.
Q: Well Lance, we saw frustration from you on the TV screens. This obviously means so much to you, what are your emotions right now?
Stroll: Yeah, it’s shit.
Q: OK… sorry for the language there. What is not clicking for you behind the wheel at the moment?
Stroll: I don’t know.
Q: And how does this change your mindset for the weekend – is it now a test session, are you going to go for it in the sprint?
Stroll: Keeping driving.
He later said in the team’s post-qualifying press release that it had been “a disappointing qualifying session” on Friday evening.
“My first lap was deleted due to track limits and I had to abort my second due to traffic, so I had a big job to do for my final run,” he continued.
“The car felt okay, but we just didn’t have the pace. We’ve got another opportunity to go again tomorrow, and learn what we can ahead of the Sprint events.”
He, however, did not address the shove on his trainer.