The Alpine driver qualified ninth – one place and 0.06 seconds behind his teammate, Esteban Ocon – at the Hungaroring after suffering what he saw as a supposed decrease in performance on Pirelli softs in Q3 compared to. with the previous game that he had used for his fastest lap in Q2.
Alonso announced a “very important Saturday” on a narrow circuit where it is notoriously “difficult to overtake” and acknowledged that his ninth position will provide him with greater benefit at the start, as he will start from the clean side of the grid.
But he warned of the necessary caution at turn one in case Verstappen, who will start third, and Hamilton, who will start first, meet again after their controversial collision on the first lap of the British GP two weeks ago.
Alonso, two-time world champion, considered that drivers can win positions “for free” if they are “smart” and are able to avoid getting involved in “a little action” at the front.
“I think it will be hotter in front of us. We will try to regain positions. I think we can do it. In my case, I start on the clean side. This is one of the circuits where you can see the most coming out on the clean side. My I want to finish a little higher in the first round, “he said.
“But I think we have to be careful because in front of us … I think something could happen tomorrow. We have Max starting with the red tire. [más rápido], Lewis in the yellow [compuesto medio], to Sergio Pérez [cuarto], Gasly [quinto] too. Behind them, Norris and Leclerc, who are some of the best at the start … “.
“The first corner is going to have a bit of action. We have to be smart to stay out of any problems and benefit from what happens in front. We want a clean first lap because maybe there are some positions that we win for free.”
Alonso did explain the need to be careful with Daniel Ricciardo, who starts the race in 11th position, so the McLaren driver has free choice of his starting compound.
However, the Spaniard appreciated his chances of landing a sixth consecutive grand prize in points, a streak that dates back to his sixth place in Baku in June.
“I would love to be in the points tomorrow, in any position, but in the points. We have been scoring many, many races already. We started eighth and ninth, so maybe we are not very far from what we could achieve,” he added.
“But there are cars behind us, especially Ricciardo who starts 11th, probably with a harder compound, etc., which will make it difficult for us to get ahead of him.”