MCLAREN WOES: During qualifying for the Austrian GP, Alonso was sent out on used tyres and ended up 14th on the grid, out-qualified by his team mate Jenson Button, who was fifth. Image: AP / Kerstin Joensson
Spielberg, Austria - Frustrated Fernando Alonso on Saturday blamed his McLaren Honda team for a 'primary school mistake' that prevented him progressing beyond Q2 in qualifying for the 2016 Austrian GP.
The two-time world champion was sent out on used tyres and ended up 14th on the grid, out-qualified by his McLaren team mate Jenson Button, who was fifth.
As it happened: 2016 Austrian GP - Qualifying
He said: "I don't think we had the pace to be in Q3, but we probably did something wrong.
"We had a rain prediction so we tried to go out early in Q2 with new tyres, the only new ones that I had left, but for some reason my car was not fitted with the new ones... It was the Q1 tyres.
"So I did a first try just for the sake of it and then when I put the new tyres there was a yellow flag. The biggest mistake was not to put the new tyres like everybody else did.
"When they took off the warmers, we suddenly had used tyres on, which was a surprise, but there was no turning back.
"It's frustrating. We are already not too quick. We are not in a very good position and if on top of that we make those primary school mistakes - it's frustrating."
Asked by reporters how he felt about the race, Alonso said: "If we put on new tyres to start the race, it will go better... "
Alonso started in pole position in just 22 races but won 33 races, last winning in 2013.