Fernando Alonso believes finishing on the podium at his home event in Spain is likely out of reach after a subdued qualifying display.
Alonso will start his home race from only ninth on the grid – his worst qualifying result of the season – after a complicated session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Alonso went off on his Q1 out-lap, causing floor damage to his AMR23, but was left to rue another error in Q3 that compromised his prospects.
“I think it was a couple of tenths, no more than that,” Alonso told Sky F1 on the impact of the floor damage.
“The guys tried to do a good job, I think the last lap in Q3 was quite competitive and I went on the damp part in Turn 10 so it was not my best Saturday, hopefully [it will be] a good Sunday tomorrow.”
Alonso has finished on the podium at five of this year’s six races – missing out only in Azerbaijan – but doubted his prospects of continuing his strong run.
“Maybe the podium is a little bit too far away, starting P9, but the top five is something we should target,” he said.
“We have the pace, we have good degradation, and with the new layout [we don’t know] if it’s easier or worse to overtake, what we should do in the strategy, but today was not my best day, sorry for the team and fans, but tomorrow is the race and we’ll give it all.”
Aston Martin boss Mike Krack outlined that “with a big loss of downforce, it was a remarkable achievement to see him progress through to Q3.”
Alonso’s Aston Martin team-mate Lance Stroll will start from sixth place on the grid.