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Alonso: We were too slow

2012-11-18 11:42

HURT BUT NOT OUT YET: Fernando Alonso starts well behind rival Sebastian Vettel on the 2012 US GP grid.

Austin, Texas Nov 17 - Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel grabbed pole position for the 2102 United States Grand Prix, setting up Ferrari's Fernando Alonso for the knockout punch in their season-long fight for the Formula 1 driver's title.

The penultimate round of the 20 race calendar heads to the Circuit of the America. Alonso staggered from a disappointing qualifying effort that will see the Ferrari ace start well behind his Red Bull rival in eighth place.

Alonso, the only driver who can still deny Vettel the title, made it clear his team is not ready to throw in the towel.

'WE WILL PUSH TO THE LIMIT'

Alonso said: "We knew it would be a complicated weekend but clearly today we were too slow and we will start from too far back tomorrow. Having said that, the accounts are always done at the end of the race.

"Our aim remains unchanged and it's still possible; on all sorts of things can happen. We will push to the limit as we have done since the start of the year at every race weekend."

Ferrari had produced promising times during three practice sessions on Formula 1's newest venue but could not come to grip with their tyre selection during the November 17 qualifying and paid a heavy price.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said: "A disappointing qualifying that puts us in a very difficult position in terms of the championship, given that our main rival will start from pole position. The main problem was linked to tyre performance, but let's make it clear, the responsibility rests with us because the tyres are the same for everyone.

"We have said it often, the sums are done on Sunday afternoon. Clearly the outlook is not positive but we are well aware the situation can be different in the race," he said.

Both Vettel and Alonso have spent the week coming to grips with the new layout that revealed some of its character but still holds plenty of unknowns going into 2012 November 18 race.

Staying on a clean line will be one of the keys but being the first race on the undulating 20-turn circuit, none of the drivers seemed certain where overtaking opportunities will present themselves.

Vettel said: "We will find out tomorrow. It's always difficult because difficult because we haven't been here before.

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