Fernando Alonso admits he is very satisfied with yesterday’s performance in the A521, where he reached Q3 in his first qualifying session after two years away from F1.

Fernando Alonso was expecting much more struggle before this first qualifying session and looks satisfied with the results he had yesterday, managing to start in front of both the Aston Martins and right behind his fellow countryman Carlos Sainz.

“I was expecting to struggle in these first couple of races, and this first qualifying went well, but I will have to keep working for Imola for sure. (…) It was not a surprise, but it was nothing that we expected before qualifying, so it’s nice to see that we can be in the top 10 as was the case today,” says Alonso.

“To start getting the maximum from the car I will need a couple of races probably to get up to speed,” he added, calming down the game as the Spaniard does not think he is exploiting 100% of his potential yet.

The two-times world champion will therefore have a lot to learn during today’s race as he is going to try completing 57 laps in a row, before crossing the finish line. Nonetheless, Alonso sees his return race as a way to learn and adapt to the car rather than an opportunity to score a lot of points for the team. 

“The 57 laps in a row will again be the first time. I need that information, I need to do 15 or 20 laps with each of the compounds and feel how the degradation is going, how it keeps changing the balance, how to manage those tires, (…) I want to have those lessons in the pocket tomorrow night when we’ve finished the race. If that’s enough to finish P7 fantastic, if it’s P11 okay if it’s P15 okay as well, but I need that information tomorrow night,” he concluded.

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