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Alonso: Mistake cost us front row start

Alonso: Mistake cost us front row start

Alonso: Mistake cost us front row start

Fernando Alonso believes a front row start was possible after a costly mistake in his best lap time during Qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.

The Aston Martin driver will line up third on the starting grid for Sunday’s race, behind the dominant Red Bull pairing of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Alonso is looking to make amends for a disappointing Sprint race. Despite finding his way up to second position in the opening laps, the Spaniard later fell into the clutches of faster drivers and suffered a puncture following contact with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr.

This dropped him out of points-scoring contention, and stewards later handed Alonso a ten-second time penalty for causing the collision with Sainz.

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We didn’t give up

The 42-year-old veteran was happy with third position, but believed he could have challenged for P2 were it not for an error-ridden first sector. He said after the session: “I don’t know how far Checo [Perez] is, but I had a moment in turn one and two.

“Then I said ‘OK, I keep going or abort the lap’ because I lost two tenths in two corners. We didn’t give up and kept on pushing through the lap and set a good lap time”, added Alonso.

He credited his team with making crucial setup changes which propelled him further up the grid: “The car improved since the Sprint. We made a few setup changes, let’s see if we can convert that into points.

“I’m extremely happy and proud of the team. We are not giving up and are not in the position we want yet but we keep pushing.”

The Chinese Grand Prix will commence at 08:00 BST (15:00 local time) on Sunday April 21st.