Fernando Alonso has sly dig at Mercedes after Australian GP qualifying

The Spaniard qualified fourth in Albert Park but will start behind both Silver Arrows

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Fernando Alonso believes Mercedes have been over-exaggerating the problems with their new Formula 1 car after an impressive qualifying run at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix.

George Russell put his W14 on the front row behind pole-sitter Max Verstappen while Lewis Hamilton will head up row two alongside Alonso in the Aston Martin.

Mercedes have been saying that their car is nowhere near the pace of the podium at times but Alonso believes that their car is much better than they are trying to make out to the public.

“They were definitely very fast in Jeddah already and they were fast in FP2,” Alonso said to Sky Sports F1 after qualifying in Melbourne.

“They are always fast. If you read their comments it seems like they have a car that is out of Q3, but it is a fast car.”

Spaniards in agreement

Alonso is not the only one who isn’t going to be fooled by the Mercedes PR as his countryman, Carlos Sainz, also fails to see the slow pace of the Silver Arrows.

He lines up fifth for the Australian GP in his Ferrari in what was an ultra-close qualifying session with plenty of running as the threat of rain persisted all afternoon at Albert Park.

“They’re a lot faster than people think and especially in the race,” Sainz added. “They had a pace very close to Fernando in Jeddah and they were both going flat out.

“We couldn’t keep up with them. That car is quick, clearly not as quick as the Red Bull because no one is, and when they put qualifying together they can be a very strong package.”

Sainz’s Ferrari teammate, Charles Leclerc, lines up in seventh with Lance Stroll splitting the prancing horses while the rest of the top 10 is made up of Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly and Nico Hulkenberg.

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