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Fernando Alonso rues Ferrari tyre strategy at Spa

Fernando Alonso

Alonso expects weather to have a big effect on Sunday's race

Belgian Grand Prix, 27-29 August, Spa
Coverage: Live on BBC One, Red Button, BBC Sport website and Radio 5 live Full details of practice, qualifying and Sunday's race

By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport at Spa

Fernando Alonso blamed Ferrari's failure to maximise the potential of their car during Belgian Grand Prix qualifying on the wrong tyre strategy.

Alonso, who topped Friday practice but qualified in 10th, said Ferrari did not have enough fresh sets of soft tyres.

"In final qualifying I had one new set. We put it on at the end as we thought it was best but it rained," he said.

"Everybody had two new sets of soft tyres but I didn't. The performance of the car wasn't for 10th."

The changeable weather during qualifying meant the teams had to switch between intermediate tyres - meant for a damp track - and the harder and softer of the two types of dry-weather tyres at the will of Spa's skies during the three parts of qualifying.

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Red Bull's Mark Webber set his pole-winning time of one minute 45.778 seconds during a window of drier conditions but Ferrari failed to anticipate the final flurry of rain.

Alonso set his fastest time - 1.663 seconds slower than Webber - in that same window but said that lap was set using the same tyres that he had used in the second part of qualifying as the team chose to gamble on the assumption that the track would stay dry enough for a final run on a fresh set.

"Everybody needed the same thing, one timed lap and then another timed lap," added Alonso.

"But they then had two new sets of soft tyres because they didn't use them in Q2 so that was the only thing.

"I'm not surprised because when there is wet qualifying anything can happen; we nearly went out in Q1."

Mark Webber

Highlights - Belgian GP qualifying

Alonso is 20 points behind championship leader Webber but is still not counting himself out of the running in Spa, despite the disappointing result.

"The pace of the car is better so the aim for the race remains the same," said Alonso, whose best finish in Spa was second for Renault in 2005.

"We are fighting for the championship and so we must try and beat everybody, maybe win the race and maybe a podium.

"The conditions for the race are impossible to predict again. We'll see if we are lucky on Sunday in all the decisions we make."

Under the sport's regulations, each team is given 11 sets of dry-weather tyres to use throughout a race weekend - five soft (option) tyres and six hard (prime) tyres.



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see also
Webber takes pole for Belgian GP
28 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Kubica aims to upset contenders
28 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Belgian Grand Prix qualifying results
28 Aug 10 |  Results
Belgian GP qualifying as it happened
28 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Belgian GP qualifying photos
28 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Webber fastest in final practice
28 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Saturday's F1 gossip column
28 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso sets Belgian practice pace
27 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Schumacher in Barrichello apology
26 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton plans damage limitation
26 Aug 10 |  Formula 1


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