Despite losing the majority of his Friday practice running to PU issues for the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso still feels he can achieve a Q3 spot during Saturday’s qualifying session.
“Tomorrow our priority is to push to get into Q3, but for that we need to do a good job,” Alonso told the media after his disappointing Friday sessions.
He was forced to stop his McLaren on track half way through FP1 with what has now been confirmed as a hydraulic issue.
And, despite losing the first hour of FP2 as well, Alonso was still able to set the 7th fastest time of the second practice session with a “particularly impressive lap,” according to Eric Boullier.
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“[T]he car isn’t yet perfectly ‘tuned’ and there’s certainly room for improvement with regard to the set-up,” Alonso admitted after the session.
Nevertheless, Alonso still felt his extensive knowledge of the track made up for the lack of setup time, saying his vast experience helps him to better “understand how to attack qualifying and the race.”
When talking about his pace, he reaffirmed, “[McLaren’s] expectations here are probably to be on the fringes of the top 10.”
“[W]e should be in a position to make satisfactory preparations for qualifying,” felt Eric Boullier, “as long as we have PU reliability.”
The target is not completely unrealistic, as Alonso qualified in a surprising P7 at the recent Spanish Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso will return to the track for Practice 3 at 10am local time.