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Alonso admits McLaren had "negative surprises" in difficult qualifying

Written by  Apr 08, 2018

Fernando Alonso says McLaren had some "negative surprises"  in a difficult Bahrain qualifying session which again saw the British team fail to get a car in Q3.

Instead, the Spaniard and his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne will line up 13th and 14th respectively on the grid after not only being the slowest Renault-powered cars but also, embarrassingly, behind both Honda-powered Toro Rosso's.

Asked where the main negatives were, the former double world champion admitted his McLaren could have been better in all the key areas.

“We know that we are not the strongest on the top speed, braking performance was also not great today [and] traction, I think we struggling a little bit too much,” Alonso said.

“This morning was good also on the hot track and then probably we got too confident with that balance on the hot track.

“Then with the cooler conditions in the evening we had some negative surprises, and unfortunately we are now in a position to start the race that is not ideal.

“But we were not in Q3 in Australia either and then both cars were in the points on Sunday so hopefully we can repeat that,” he added.

Race pace is usually the strength of the Woking-based team and in practice, their long run was faster than all their midfield rivals ahead, even so racing director Eric Boullier admitted the problems on a single lap do need addressing.

“Obviously it’s a bit of a surprise, based on the pace we had in FP3,” Boullier told Sky Sports. “There is a need for a big investigation.

“The balance is fine, obviously there’s a lack of grip, that’s my conclusion for the poor performance, but they (the drivers) don’t report anything wrong.

We need to ask some questions at the factory. Like all of us on the pit wall, to be honest, I’m a bit astonished and we need to understand what happened.”

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