Alonso downplays Miami victory chances despite front row start

Fernando Alonso says he wants to take the lead but is not setting a goal of victory in the Miami Grand Prix despite starting on the front row due to issues for other drivers.

Charles Leclerc’s crash in qualifying leaves the Ferrari driver – who was on pole position twice in Baku – starting seventh, while the resulting red flag on Saturday limited Max Verstappen to ninth after a mistake on his own first run. Alonso lines up alongside Sergio Perez on the front row this afternoon but feels he’s slightly out of position in terms of outright race pace and just wants to maximize the Aston Martin’s potential.

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“I don’t think that we have to target a win, especially after how the weekend went,” Alonso said. “I think even the podium is going to be difficult but we do our race. We’ve been doing this the whole season, we are in a privileged position, we never expected to be here. So, every lap we do, every race lap that we will do in these kind of positions is a gift at the moment.


“So, I think the team is enjoying it. We will try to pass Checo into Turn 1, because we love to lead the race, at least for a few laps. And after that, it’s just… we will end up in the position we deserve. If it’s P5, it’s going to be P5. If it’s P7, P7. If it’s another podium it will be fantastic. But I think it’s going to be a tough race.”

Despite not focusing on victory, Alonso says he takes a lot of confidence from starting so high up in the race and believes Aston Martin can pull further clear of Mercedes in second place in the constructors’ championship.

“I think Sunday is our day, normally. I think the car takes care of the tires normally very well, and we have a very good race pace and we struggle a little bit on Saturday. So, when we start higher up normally things are a little bit easier.

“But we have a strong opposition behind. Ferrari has been very strong this weekend and in Baku, with some upgrades also on their car. Max obviously will eventually come in the race, quite fast. So a lot of things to take care of in the mirrors. But we will do our race, we will score as many points as possible and our main competitors, Mercedes, they had a difficult weekend so far, so we need to keep outscoring them.”

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Story originally appeared on Racer