Fernando Alonso was unable to hide his disappointment after the Spaniard’s qualifying session for tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix came to an abrupt end tonight.
The Renault driver could only qualify in 15th for Formula One’s inaugural night race after suffering a fuel feed problem that brought his car to a halt in Q2.
It was all the more disappointing after Alonso had looked impressive during practice when he had twice finished fastest and had seemed a likely contender for a place at the front of the grid.
As it is, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa is on pole tomorrow after producing a superb final lap, while McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton will start in second place.
Massa’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen improved on his displays in practice to secure third place.
“It’s a really big disappointment because we had a real chance to do something special today,” Alonso said. “Perhaps not pole position but to at least qualify in the top four.
“Our weekend was going really well and we had big hopes for this evening.
“I know that starting in the middle of the pack will make for a difficult race and I will need a miracle with the strategy to be able to make progress on this street circuit where it looks difficult to overtake.”
Meanwhile, Alonso’s former team-mate Hamilton insists he is not feeling unduly concerned after being pipped for pole by Massa.
The 23-year-old was seconds away from finishing top, only for Massa to produce a superb final lap and put himself in prime position for tomorrow.
Hamilton leads Massa in the driver standings by just a single point, making the outcome of the race even more important.
“My lap was by no means perfect but Felipe’s was,” said Hamilton.
“We don’t know what their (Ferrari’s) strategy is and tomorrow will be a tough race.
“But we are in a good position and I am quite happy.”
The Marina Bay street circuit has proved tough for the drivers with many having found its uneven surface a tricky challenge.
But Hamilton added that he has enjoyed his experience of it so far.
“I can’t particularly fault it,” he said. “It is bumpy and has a lot of character. It is not a bog standard circuit; it really feels like we are going through the streets of the city.
“It is challenging and I am really happy driving it.”