AustrianGP: “McLaren now Q3 contenders” – Saturday Recap

Fernando Alonso believes McLaren can now reach Q3 “in normal cicumstances”, after a close Q3 miss with a downgraded engine.

FP3 Resuts:

# Driver Team Time Difference Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:05.092 18
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:05.361 +0.269s 21
3. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:05.515 +0.423s 19
4. Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:05.611 +0.519s 19
5. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:05.784 +0.692s 24
6. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:05.896 +0.804s 29
7. Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:05.936 +0.844s 21
8. Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:06.015 +0.923s 22
9. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:06.279 +1.187s 28
10. Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:06.284 +1.192s 19
11. Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:06.374 +1.282s 26
12. Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:06.563 +1.471s 18
13. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1:06.578 +1.486s 18
14. Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:06.595 +1.503s 22
15. Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:06.599 +1.507s 20
16. Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:06.776 +1.684s 22
17. Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1:06.865 +1.773s 24
18. Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:06.875 +1.783s 28
19. Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:07.378 +2.286s 21
20. Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 1:07.468 +2.376s 25

Alonso qualified 12th for the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, but was just 0.052s off 10th-placed Esteban Ocon of Force India in Q2. This was despite using an older specification of Honda engine, after a problem was detected on Friday night on his ‘Spec 3’ unit.

“It was good,” said Alonso, whose only Q3 appearance this year occurred at the Spanish GP. “I’m happy with the laps and the performance today.

“I think the car felt good all weekend, and I think this position is the maximum we could achieve today.  The team is working very hard to improve the situation, we bring I don’t know how many updates every race, new specs on the engine every time we can. Now we are touching Q3 in normal circumstances, so that’s a positive note. But we still need to improve the reliability and we hope to see some more signs in the next couple of weeks.”

When asked if he could score points on Sunday, Alonso replied: “Starting P12, we are already very close, so with a good start or good strategy you’re already in the points.  So that’s the target.”

Qualifying Results:

# Driver Team Q1 Time Q2 Time Q3 Time Laps
1. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:05.760 1:04.316 1:04.251 18
2. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:05.585 1:04.772 1:04.293 17
3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:05.064 1:04.800 1:04.424 17
4. Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:05.148 1:05.004 1:04.779 17
5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:05.854 1:05.161 1:04.896 22
6. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:05.779 1:04.948 1:04.983 16
7. Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:05.902 1:05.319 1:05.480 30
8. Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:05.975 1:05.435 1:05.605 21
9. Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:06.033 1:05.550 1:05.674 22
10. Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:05.675 1:05.544 1:05.726 23
11. Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:06.174 1:05.597 16
12. Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:06.158 1:05.602   14
13. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1:06.316 1:05.741 14
14. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:05.990 1:05.884 16
15. Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:06.143 6
16. Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:06.345 10
17. Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1:06.534 8
18. Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:06.608 11
19. Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:06.857 12
20. Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 1:07.011 11