Alonso: "Today was a beautiful day, a beautiful qualifying"
The double world champion was in bullish mood after a surprising run on the Circuit de Catalunya left him in seventh on the grid for Sunday's race.
“A beautiful day,” Fernando Alonso declared after claiming seventh place on the grid after the qualifying session ahead of Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Smiling in front of his adoring home fans at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where he won his last Formula One race, with Ferrari four years ago, Alonso added: “Today was a beautiful day, a beautiful qualifying, in which we were finding tenth after tenth. Then, surprisingly we made it into Q3 and we had another very good lap.
"As I said yesterday [Friday], sometimes the weekends start the wrong way, but then they fix themselves and vice versa. The important thing now is tomorrow -- to try and get a few points."
Alonso's McLaren finds its groove in Barcelona
On Friday morning, the double world champion was unable to run in the opening practice after his McLaren-Honda engine failed, returning in the afternoon for an unimpressive set of laps in second practice.
But overnight work on a progressive car that has been let down by its power unit paid dividends on Saturday for Alonso, who is set to miss the Monaco Grand Prix later this month.
Instead, he flies to the United States on Monday to begin preparations for the Indianapolis 500 for which he passed his rookie test last week.
"Maybe, on the oval, I learned how to go quick on the straights as well," he said. "For me, it was a good qualifying for us and P7 is a gift so we'll see what we can do tomorrow."
Alonso outpaced his McLaren team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne by half a second, the Belgian qualifying 19th.
Alonso: "Fans give a few extra tenths"
"Yesterday was not a normal session," added Alonso. "We had the problem in the morning and then the car was half ready for the second session. I said we would be more competitive today. It was better than expected, but the support from the people gives a few extra tenths."
A McLaren revival may persuade Alonso to stay with the team next year.
On Thursday, he told a news conference he would be open to offers from other teams if McLaren-Honda were not able to develop a potential race-winning car for 2018 before the end of August.
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