Fernando Alonso doubts he’ll win the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday despite earning the third-best spot on the grid from qualifying at a rainy Interlagos.
Alonso hasn’t started from the second row since the fourth race of the year in Bahrain, but the two-time world champion said it’s going to be “very difficult” to win.
“Every grand prix you go to you have to think of victory, because we are competitors and we like to win every race,” Alonso said on Saturday. “But we also need to be realistic and don’t tell our fans, our team, our people, that tomorrow we have a high chance to win the race. That is not true.”
The Spaniard said he made a mistake that cost him a chance to start second, and admitted the tricky weather conditions helped him secure his spot up front.
“We know that in wet condition normally we improve our performance a little bit,” he said. “We were waiting for wet races this year but it came only in the last in Brazil. Obviously I’m not sad with third and all the opportunities in front of us in tomorrow’s race starting up at the front.”
To get his third win of the season, Alonso will need to overcome Nico Rosberg of Mercedes and pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel, who was more than a second faster than his Ferrari.
Alonso said it’s good that this time he will at least have a chance to finish up front, with more bad weather forecast.
“Comparing to the last five or six events we’ve been through, there was probably zero chance to win the race,” he said. “Tomorrow there’s maybe a small chance, but very small.”
Alonso said he ended his qualifying run with “mixed feelings.”
“I’m happy to be so up on the grid, finally, because we started seventh to 10th in the last five or six grand prix, which is not ideal,” he said. “But not totally happy with my lap, I lost a lot of time.”
Alonso hasn’t finished higher than fourth in the last five races, but he has already secured second place in the drivers’ standings, behind Vettel.
Second place in the constructors’ race is still up for grabs, though, and a good finish could help Ferrari get past Mercedes.
“I think it’s going to be tough,” Alonso said. “Mercedes were very strong all weekend so I expect them to be very strong tomorrow as well.”
Rosberg’s teammate, Lewis Hamilton, will start fifth, while Felipe Massa will come from ninth in the other Ferrari.