Fernando Alonso has targeted 'some good positions' in Sunday's Belgian GP

Ferrari star qualifies ninth after mis-timing wet conditions

By Mike Wise and James Galloway at Spa.   Last Updated: 24/08/13 5:46pm

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Fernando Alonso believes he can still challenge in Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix after being caught out during a wet qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps.

Alonso will line up ninth on the grid in his Ferrari at the end of an hour which saw rain come and go on more than one occasion. He and Kimi Raikkonen - who starts eighth - were among those to mis-time the changing conditions in Q3, unlike polesitter Lewis Hamilton and title leader Sebastian Vettel, who lines up second.

"The timing was not right, that's pretty obvious. It's tough to get a good lap at the end, to time it, and you need to be lucky because even if you choose that strategy, the cloud could stay a little bit longer and this extra lap counts for nothing because the circuit is very wet," the Spaniard said.

In fact, the rain eased slightly as the top ten runners undertook their final flying laps, with Alonso one of those not best-placed to make the most of the drying track.

"They did a fantastic job, the drivers on the laps, which maybe we didn't do," he conceded.

"There are many small things we will try to understand better but there's nothing we can do now."

Alonso, who stands 39 points behind Vettel in the Drivers' Championship, needs to make ground in the race.

Yet given the upturn in performance he and Ferrari have generally showed this weekend - Alonso was fastest in Q1 and second in Q2 - the double World Champion is confident he can do just that.

"After what we saw today, I'm sure that whatever happens tomorrow, if we can pass the people in front, it seems that we have the pace to challenge for some good positions tomorrow," he added.

"The race is long and we need to believe we can score some good points."

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