Formula One: Alonso 'missed out' on easy pole

Fernando Alonso said he missed out on his 'easiest' chance this year to take pole position when he suffered a suspected broken rear anti-rollbar in Q3 for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The 32-year-old Spaniard, who was hoping to bid for his third pole this year, was fastest in both Q1 and Q2 but fell off the pace before settling for 10th place in qualifying.

His Ferrari team-mate Brazilian Felipe Massa qualified third behind the two McLarens of pole sitter Lewis Hamilton and his fellow-Briton Jenson Button.

Two-time champion Alonso, who leads defending champion German Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull by 24 points ahead of Sunday's race, said: "It's a shame because I think it would have been the easiest pole position of the year for us.

"We did 1min 24.1sec in Q1 with an easy lap and then looking at it, 1:24.0 was, let's say, easy for us to do.

"We lost one big opportunity, but nothing we can do now. We'll try to be strong tomorrow, the car will be fixed and we will see what we can do from 10th.

"Something broke in the car in Q3, so we had no time to fix it, so we went out just to see if we could beat some of the cars but unfortunately we were not able because we lost too much performance."

After 11 consecutive points-scoring finishes in an unrivalled demonstration of consistency, Alonso failed to score a point at the Belgian Grand Prix where he was innocently involved in a first lap collision.

Ferrari team chief Stefano Domenicali confirmed that Alonso was forced to putt up because of a rollbar problem.

He said: "It seems to be (a problem) with the rear bar. It seems to be a mechanical failure. We need to wait for the car to come back.

"We knew that the car was not good because Fernando understood exactly the situation straight away, so that's very unfortunate, but that's the way it is.

"Of course, we are very disappointed because we could have done a great qualifying with Fernando and at least we are pleased that Felipe did a good job. He is there just behind the McLarens."

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