SUZUKA, Japan, Oct 6, 2012 (AFP) - Formula One championship leader Fernando Alonso was left cursing his luck Saturday after a late spin by Kimi Raikkonen cost him the chance to set a competitive qualifying time at the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver, who has a 29-point lead as he seeks his third world title, said he had to slow down on his final flying lap in Saturday's qualifying session because of the yellow flags at Spoon curve, where Raikkonen had lost control of his Lotus.
Alonso will start the race from sixth spot with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, the defending world champion and his closest rival in the overall standings, on pole.
"What can I say, other than get angry about being unlucky? The yellow flags came at the worst possible moment, when I was coming into turn 14," Alonso said.
"Up until then, my lap was great and there was every chance of setting the fourth fastest time of the day, which would have then seen me start from third on the grid.
"From there, the race could have taken on a completely different picture, but we have to accept what happened. We were unlucky today, so maybe we'll be lucky tomorrow."
Alonso said the grid would make for a difficult race with an all-Red Bull front row and McLaren's Jenson Button and Lewis Button in eighth and ninth.
"We are up against some very strong opponents, like Red Bull who are in front and there is also McLaren who are behind, so we will have to keep an eye on both sides of the track," said the Spaniard.