Fernando Alonso: “I really wanted to go to the grid”

Fernando Alonso admitted his retirement was expected as the problem that saw him retire at the end of the first lap was initially detected on Saturday in Mexico.

The McLaren-Honda driver suffered a problem with his MGU-H unit, but wanted to start the race out of respect of the Mexican fans, whom he said had been ‘amazing’ all weekend long at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

“We had an MGU-H rotation speed problem – it was something we spotted last night, and unfortunately confirmed it this morning,” said Alonso. “We didn’t have enough time to replace it, so we were left with two options: to race or not to race.

“We went for the first option, and tried to do as much as we could, out of respect for the amazing fans here in Mexico. I really wanted to go to the grid, take the start, and then just see what happened.

“It was only one lap, but, even so, I enjoyed it. At least we tried; it’s always best to try than to give up.

“It’s been a two long weeks away from home, with zero points scored. It’s been hugely rewarding to witness the crowds here in Mexico City though – they’ve been one of the best crowds of the season, brilliant all weekend.

“Now, we need to put this experience behind us and look ahead to the final two races of the season.”