|© AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama
Fernando Alonso was resigned to the fact that his Ferrari could not give him the opportunity to qualify on pole position after yet another poor performance on Saturday at the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Spaniard, who hasn’t been on the front row since the German GP last year, qualified eighth for Sunday’s race at Suzuka well behind his teammate Felipe Massa, who qualified fifth,
“The result is more or less what we were expecting, not having had a great pace all weekend, always being between sixth and tenth and even in Q3, I could not do more.”
Massa, however, managed to put together “a perfect lap” suggesting that the Ferrari had more to offer.
"We did a good job, managing to get all the potential out of it," said the Brazilian. "More than this was not possible, but I am very happy all the same."
Alonso’s personal best sector times combined during the qualifying session produced a lap time which was just 0.006 seconds quicker than the time he recorded, suggesting that he would not have gained any position.
Massa’s personal best sector times, meanwhile, gave him another 0.015 seconds. Had he produced that lap, he would have started a place higher in fourth.
The two Ferrari drivers were separated by 0.287 seconds, indicating that Alonso lost three-tenths to what could have been his teammate's potential best lap and fourth place on the grid.