Towards the end of qualifying, the focus was primarily on the drivers fighting for pole position, and they too went wrong. In turn 8, Sergio Perez first spun into the barriers, then Carlos Sainz was no longer able to avoid him and they blocked the track together. Almost at the same time things went wrong for Fernando Alonso. The Alpine driver was fifth after his first run in Q3. After that he dropped back to seventh place but was hoping to make up some ground with one last try. That didn’t work because in turn 5 Alonso braked and ended up in the tire barriers.
Alonso had a simple explanation for his incident after qualifying: “I lost concentration, braked too late and locked the wheels,” he replied to a question from Motorsport.com† “Looking back now, I probably could have used the run-off track, but I felt like I could still make the turn. It did not work. First of all I would like to apologize to the team as every mistake costs money and is costly under the budget limit. It’s hard to accept, so I’m not proud of my qualification. Hopefully I’ll do better tomorrow.” The only reassurance was that Alonso wouldn’t have been able to finish his lap if he hadn’t crashed. “I crashed and told the radio I was at turn 5. My engineer was then: ‘There’s a crash at turn 8, so code red’, to which I replied, ‘Don’t worry, I’m already in the wall!’”
Alonso was very happy with the rest of qualifying. After a difficult Friday, Alpine worked hard to improve the car and it paid off in qualifying as both Alonso and teammate Esteban Ocon made it into Q3. The two-time world champion found the speed in qualifying encouraging. “It went well. I had two sets of tires in Q3 because Q1 was easier than I expected. So I really thought P5 was possible because I was there after the first heat. Maybe due to the development of the track I could have made it to P5 , but I didn’t finish the round.”
Despite his crash, Alonso is allowed to start the race in Monaco from seventh place. According to the weather forecast, it might rain during the game, but Alonso doesn’t really need it. “Hopefully we can have a good race. Of course, when the rain comes, it will cause excitement. You don’t know, but it will probably be a matter of survival. It gets messy. I prefer it dry even if it’s boring. It will then be easier for us to lead our race well, in the rain it will be a big risk on all fronts. Let’s see if we’re lucky.”