Fernando Alonso hoping for ‘chaotic’, rain-affected Japanese Grand Prix

Sam Cooper
Fernando Alonso is interviewed. Monza September 2022.

Alpine driver Fernando Alonso looks on during an interview. Monza September 2022.

Fernando Alonso is hoping to capitalise on the high stakes at the top of the grid and says he is hoping for a “chaotic” Japanese Grand Prix.

The Spaniard qualified in P7 having reached Q3 three times in as many races – but with his previous two outings resulting in retirements, Alonso is hoping to finish high up in the points on race day.

One aspect he is hoping to utilise during the course of the race is how much is on the line – not for him, but for other drivers.

Max Verstappen could win the World Championship at Suzuka, while the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers are battling it out for the P2 spot in the Constructors’.

Alonso wants to use that pressure for his benefit and said he is hoping for a “chaotic” race as it will serve he and his Alpine team-mate Esteban Ocon well.

“It felt good,” Alonso told F1.com about his qualifying. “I think the wet running [on Friday] was a little bit more competitive than the dry, but also in dry conditions we felt quite okay.

“Tomorrow, let’s see. If we have mixed conditions that will be ideal. More chaotic is always better for us because the people in front obviously are fighting for a World Championship, they cannot take too many risks.

“But I think we are ready for any condition.”

Alpine have work to do having lost ground to McLaren in the hunt for the P4 spot and have scored zero points to McLaren’s 28 in the last two races.

As it stands, the Woking-based outfit are four points ahead of Alpine, and Alonso said outscoring McLaren is the goal for every race left in the 2022 season.

“Absolutely,” the 41-year-old replied when asked if finishing ahead of McLaren during the race was important.

“I think that’s our main target for the remaining races. We start both cars in front of both McLarens, so let’s try to score more points.”

His team-mate Ocon qualified in P5 and stated his goal was to keep the Mercedes cars behind him.

“That’s gonna be the aim for sure,” the Frenchman said. “We were fighting with the Mercs earlier this year – if I remember tracks like Jeddah, they were quicker than us. So we’ve updated the car a lot since then.

“But obviously the target is to keep them behind. It’s not gonna be an easy thing to do but a lot is going to happen. There’s gonna be some rain [so] let’s bring some good points for the team.”

Read more: Alpine consulted Esteban Ocon before signing long-time rival Pierre Gasly