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Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Saturday, 31 July 2010 17:32 UK

Fernando Alonso surprised by Red Bull Hungarian GP pace

Venue: Hungaroring Dates: 30 July-1 August 2010 Coverage: Comprehensive live coverage of Friday practice, Saturday qualifying and Sunday's race - which starts at 1300 BST - across BBC TV, radio and online platforms. Full listings here

Sebastian Vettel

Highlights - Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying

Fernando Alonso said Red Bull's pace advantage in Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying was unexpected, a week after he led a Ferrari one-two in Germany.

The Spaniard qualified third behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber but Ferrari driver Alonso's best lap was 1.2 seconds slower than Vettel.

Alonso said: "Four or five days ago we won the race in Hockenheim and Ferrari was the quickest car there on Sunday.

"Six days later we are 1.2 seconds behind, so it's a surprise, no doubt."

But Alonso added that he was still pleased by the Ferrari, which was comfortably the second fastest car at the Hungaroring.

His team-mate Felipe Massa was fourth fastest, ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso

Hungary GP qualifying - Top three drivers

Alonso reflected: "I'm still happy with the car performance, there was nothing wrong with it.

"We will maximise our potential and it's 1.2 seconds to me but two seconds for fifth or sixth position, so I think there are people who are more worried than us."

The Red Bull's advantage has generally not been as big in the race as in qualifying but Alonso said he did not expect to be able to challenge Vettel and Webber on Sunday.

"I will be happy to be on the podium," the Spaniard continued. "There is no doubt. Knowing how the weekend has gone so far, winning the race would be a dream.

"But we need to be realistic, we need to know that there are two cars much quicker than us, so at the moment we deserve third position in qualifying, and theoretically we deserve third position in the race, so we will see what we can do.

Felipe Massa

Red Bull pace concerns Massa

"Sometimes on Saturday we've been not close enough to Red Bull to fight for pole positions and then on Sunday we are much closer on race pace. This was the case when we were three or four tenths away from pole position.

"Today we are 1.2 seconds, so even if tomorrow we have a better race pace, it may still not be enough to fight for victory but we will see.

"Anything can happen. There is a 70 lap race, a very demanding circuit for drivers, for gearboxes, engines, brakes. It is not an easy circuit. We've seen very interesting races here in Hungary, so we will fight until the chequered flag."

Alonso's best hope is to beat one of the Red Bulls away at the start - and Webber is vulnerable as he lines up on the 'dirty' side of the grid, where there is less grip.

"We know that the dirty side here is quite bad, maybe the worst of the calendar," the 29-year-old commented.

"But at the same we've had some good starts this year starting on the dirty side, and some bad starts starting on the clean side.

"I think it will be down to the start and how things go when the red light goes off but no doubt that we will have a good chance tomorrow to overtake cars at the start.

Jonathan Legard's blog

Alonso, who lies fifth in the world drivers' championship heading into the race, said his priority was to score as many points as he could to close the gap to Hamilton, the points leader.

Alonso, who find himself 34 points behind Hamilton, said: "At the moment, the McLaren drivers are leading the championship and the McLaren team is leading the constructors' [championship], so we need to take points and reduce the gap to them.

"Once the Red Bulls are leading the championship, if they do so, we will see what we can do, but at the moment hopefully we need to keep taking points from McLaren."

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see also
Flying Vettel takes Hungary pole
31 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Qualifying pain frustrates Button
31 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Hungarian GP qualifying as it happened
31 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Bosses want change on team orders
30 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren query Red Bull front wing
30 Jul 10 |  Formula 1

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