Alonso: I rode my luck
Ferrari ace says pole was a surprise given conditions
By Mike Wise at Silverstone. Last Updated: 08/07/12 10:40am
Fernando Alonso said that scoring pole position for the British Grand Prix came as something of a surprise, the Ferrari driver even going so far as to admit he had been lucky.
Alonso claimed both his and the Scuderia's first pole since 2010 on another soggy day at Silverstone - the hour-long session having to be delayed by 90 minutes when heavy rain started falling.
The Spaniard described the conditions as a gamble and he was fortunate to have two more rolls of the dice after two particularly hairy moments.
Alonso's first escape came early in session two when his car aquaplaned out of control exiting the Becketts complex and narrowly avoided contact with a wall.
Then, following the rain stoppage, Alonso found himself on the verge of being knocked out.
However, despite bearing down on yellow flags towards the end of his final flying lap - a consequence of a spin by Lotus's Romain Grosjean - he just managed to progress.
Describing the challenges he faced, Alonso said: "In wet conditions you never know. You need to be in the right place in the right moment with the circuit in the best conditions possible when you do the lap.
"That lap has to be clean with not huge mistakes. Here and there you can always lose or improve a little bit. You never exactly know the conditions of the next corner when you arrive on a day like today.
"It can be a little bit drier than the lap before. We saw some drops of rain on the visors and it can be a little bit wetter. So it's a little bit (like) gambling with the grip.
"So when you find yourself in pole position it's a little bit surprising."
Alonso received a round of applause in the Silverstone press room after his spin exiting one of the fastest corners of the track - one where many drivers have struggled so far this weekend.
However, he said surviving the moment was more a case of luck than judgement.
"It was very big but you are not in control of the car. You need to be lucky and we've been lucky today. With that moment in Q2, with all the decisions we've had with the tyres...it was the right one," he said.
"And also on the last lap, to put the lap together - that was lucky as well because the distance with (second-placed qualifier) Mark (Webber) is milliseconds."
The double World Champion's last-gasp progress into Q3 was questioned by Paul di Resta, who dropped out as a result and thought Alonso did not slow sufficiently for the yellows.
Alonso, perhaps predictably, took a different view and said: "I didn't set a green sector on that particular lap with a yellow.
"I backed off at the area where they were taking out the car. I don't have any worries."