It was another strong afternoon for the ING Renault F1 Team as Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet qualified in 6th and 11th places for today's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, Sao Paulo.
Having been competitive in all three practice sessions, the team approached the afternoon's qualifying session determined to build on this momentum. Both drivers progressed comfortably through to Q2 where Nelson secured 11th spot on the grid for his home race, while Fernando progressed to the top ten shootout to qualify in 6th place.
Those positions leave the team well placed to end the 2008 season with a strong showing in tomorrow's race.
Fernando Alonso P6"We thought that it would be very close and competitive this afternoon and we were not mistaken. We knew that it would be difficult to try and match the Ferraris and McLarens and so I think we have done our maximum this afternoon by qualifying in 6th place. I now hope that the strategy and the tyres work as expected so that we can have a strong race tomorrow."
Nelson Piquet P11"It's clear that I would have liked to reach Q3 today. The car was working well, I was comfortable and I pushed hard, but that wasn't enough. The times are very close, just as we expect, but I must now concentrate on the race tomorrow where I will do everything to try and move forward and score some points."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering"As usual the very short lap time here produced a close grid. Nelson was very unlucky not to make Q3 as he was just a fraction slower than Fernando in Q2. But Fernando did a magnificent job as always and secured a good grid position with a sensible fuel load. We are now looking forward to the race tomorrow."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations"After free practice this morning, we had realistic hopes of reaching Q3 with both cars. Nelson just missed out on a place by a few hundredths, which is frustrating for his home Grand Prix, but he will have the freedom to adapt to the conditions we get tomorrow. As this will be a 71-lap race, the strategy and starting fuel loads meant that the gaps in Q3 were especially close today. Now we have to wait for tomorrow, but we are hopeful of a positive race."