Fernando Alonso: “We were in the wrong place at the wrong time”

by Paul Hensby

Fernando Alonso made one of the starts of the season in the Singapore Grand Prix and was set to be a net third place heading into turn one, only for the Spaniard to be the innocent victim of the clash between the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers and Max Verstappen.

The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team racer had started eighth but was set to fall in between Lewis Hamilton, only for the out-of-control Kimi Raikkonen to crash into Verstappen on the apex of turn one, which in turn pitched Alonso into a spin that saw him take air, and although he continued on, the damage was too much and he was eventually forced to call it a day at the end of the eighth lap.

“My start was brilliant,” said Alonso. “The car did an amazing launch and I managed to gain several positions, up to third place, but after that we were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I wasn’t aware of what was happening on the inside, all I know is that at Turn One some cars crashed and hit us. In that situation, you are just a passenger, there’s nothing you can do.

“Unfortunately, that hit was too much for our car. From the cockpit you don’t understand how much damage there is, but the car didn’t feel great, it had a lot of oversteer so I asked the team what was the damage but they were not completely sure because they’d lost the telemetry. At the end, we had some electrical problems and we had to stop.”

Alonso acknowledges that things like this happen in motor sport, but it did nothing to eliminate the disappointment of the retirement, having gone into the race with high hopes of scoring only his third top-ten finish of 2017.

“These things sometimes happen in motor racing and unfortunately it happened to us today,” said Alonso. “We had so much hope for this race, and in wet conditions we are very strong so the disappointment is even bigger.

“Despite my disappointment this evening, it’s actually been a positive and fun weekend – the team has done an outstanding job and I’ll be hoping for better luck in Sepang in a fortnight’s time.”

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