‘The least important qualifying of my life’

Date published: January 26 2018

Fernando Alonso has reflected on the "least important qualifying" of his life after putting his United Autosports Ligier LMP2 entry on P13 for the Daytona 24 Hours.

The Spaniard was within one second of Renger van der Zande and the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac team but was ultimately unable to put himself into the top 10 shoot-out to determine the grid positions for Saturday night.

But, with Daytona being an endurance race, Alonso isn't particularly bothered about where he, Lando Norris and Phil Hanson start.

"Knowing it’s a 24-hour race, it was probably the least important qualifying of my life until now," Alonso told reporters.

"Normally I have 60 laps or 70 laps to recover what I did in qualifying; on Saturday we have 24 Hours. Qualifying was not the key point of this weekend, hopefully.

"I think it was a good session for us," he added.

"It was nice to have some laps finally in the car with no traffic, in free practice there was a lot of traffic and a lot of things go on, but in the prototype qualy you can put some laps together and get used to the car a little bit more.

"We still need to improve a bit to find a bit more speed, in general, I think we need a good job.

"Happy to be fastest Ligier, by a good margin, we have top guys in our team – Bruno Senna is the world champion in LMP2 – he’s in the other car. We felt competitive and we achieved the maximum."