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Singapore GP | Alonso: "Tyre degradation will be a key factor on Sunday"

Fernando Alonso qualified 11th at Singapore, which is going to provide him with a golden opportunity as for strategy calls and race management. The Spaniard remained cautious while setting out his targets for tomorrow, as he has not seen the chequered flag since Hungary.

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Singapore GP | Alonso: "Tyre degradation will be a key factor on Sunday"
Fuente imagen: MotorLAT

The Singapore Grand Prix has been relieving for McLaren since the beginning of the Honda era, as the features of the Marina Bay Circuit could enhance the competitiveness of the chassis compared to the power unit. Fernando Alonso qualified in the most ideal spot for the midfield, 11th, allowing him to have fresh tyres and choose his compound for the start.

"I think we knew yesterday that we were quite close to the Q3 cut-off. You never plan it but ideally you will be in the top 10, but to make it work and have the benefit of a top 10 entrance you have to be 6th or 7th. If you are around 9th or 10th, it is better to qualify 11th and have a free tyre choice, which is the case tomorrow. It is also important to start on the clean side tomorrow, so it has been a good day overall."

"Tyre degradation will be a key factor for tomorrow and reliability as well. We have not seen the chequered flag for a number of races now".

McLaren has been on the way down throughout the summer, owing to reliability issues, lack of competitiveness and tough luch adding to that. The Spaniard believes the start will be crucial to build a satisfying result, as the first corner has always been tricky. Therefore, staying out of drama is going to be the main target for tomorrow's race. "Things can change, like temperature or rain tonight or tomorrow morning. We will be ready for any strategy call and it will be important to have no incidents at the first corner and finally see the chequered flag".

Asked about the 2021 concept Ross Brawn has presented, Alonso made multiple comparisons and is adamant close-up racing has always been among F1's main weaknesses. "It is part of F1's nature. It has always been difficult to follow cars, not even more difficult than 2004 or 2005. Probably it was easier from 2010 to '14 or '16 but then last year we introduced the wide rear wing and tyres, which makes it a little bit difficult now. The new cars aesthetically look more like Formula Renault or IndyCar and they seem to follow each other a little bit closer. It's good to copy the ideas that work already."

Being able to yield a point-paying result is the general target for McLaren, especially at Singapore, where there is a bigger chance to achieve it. Fernando Alonso reiterates that it is down on tyre performance and degradation. "We need to see how the race goes, especially the first lap. If there are any opportunities, we can take them. If degradation is high, we can benefit from that and we can finish 7th. But if degradation is not really there and I am starting 11th, then it will be more difficult."



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