SAO PAULO, Nov 26, 2011 (AFP) - Fernando Alonso was hoping for rain on Sunday when the curtain comes down on the Formula One season at the Brazilian Grand Prix as the Ferrari driver looks to improve on his fifth place on the grid.
"If it really rains tomorrow, it will be a very exciting and open race," said the former world champion.
"No-one really knows how competitive they can be in the wet and then it requires next to nothing -- one lap more or less out on track at a time when the conditions change to turn around a situation that looks set in stone."
Alonso said he was surprised by the pace of his Ferrari in Saturday's qualifying session.
It was the ninth time the Spaniard has qualified in fifth place this season, after the Italian team has struggled to match the pace of rival teams Red Bull and McLaren.
However, Alonso wound up just 0.1 seconds off fourth-placed Lewis Hamilton and 0.3 seconds off the Briton's McLaren team-mate, third-placed Jenson Button.
The double champion said he was surprised by the pace of his car as he had been expecting a much tougher challenge from rivals Mercedes.
"My subscription to fifth place has been extended for one more Saturday," joked Alonso.
"This time however, getting to my classic starting place on the grid was a bit more of a struggle than usual.
"We are not very pleased with the balance of the car and we were expecting a very competitive Mercedes. However, in Q3, we got much closer to the McLarens than we could have expected, while the first of the Mercedes was left a few tenths back. What this means is that we managed to get a little bit more out of it than our potential would indicate."
His Ferrari team-mate and hometown star Felipe Massa was left feeling frustrated after struggling with the balance of his car and being forced to settle for seventh place on the grid.
"I was expecting more from this final qualifying of the year and I definitely cannot be happy with this seventh place," Massa said.
"Unfortunately, we were unable to find the right balance throughout the weekend."