DNF to end F1 season in Abu Dhabi was “summary of the year”

Sportem
Sportem
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Alonso made his final appearance for Alpine in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ahead of his move to Aston Martin, but failed to make it to the chequered flag due to a water leak.

Although Alpine still secured fourth in the constructors’ championship, Alonso was left ruing yet more lost points after his sixth retirement of the season. He had been fighting for points, sitting 10th in the opening stint, before dropping out of the race on lap 27.

“Unfortunately another engine problem, so it has been the summary of the year,” said Alonso after the race in Abu Dhabi.

“Unfortunately on car 14, always these things happen, so one more.”

Alonso has suffered a number of retirements this season due to a mixture of poor reliability and being taken out in on-track incidents, such as at Spa with Lewis Hamilton and in Austin with Lance Stroll.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine

Photo by: Erik Junius

It meant Alonso finished the year ninth in the championship, 11 points behind teammate Esteban Ocon, but he has regularly pointed to the number of points he has lost this year.

Asked if he felt sad his time with Alpine was over or glad the season was at an end, Alonso replied: “I’m happy that it’s finished.

“As you know, there are facts that this year have been against us a little bit in car 14. Six DNFs, but also [ones] they don’t count as a DNF but they were DNF, like Australia, the qualifying problem. The sprint race in Austria, I didn’t even start the race, and things like that.

“So I think there are nine or 10 reliability issues, which at this level is obviously not acceptable. And they all happen to my car.

“So I’m happy to finish and start on Monday the seat fit with Aston, Tuesday the tyre test, and hopefully a new project with more luck.”

Alonso made his F1 comeback with Alpine in 2021 after spending two seasons out of the series, marking his third stint with the Enstone-based team. He raced for the outfit under its Renault guise from 2003-06 and 2008-09, winning the world title in 2005 and 2006.

“The frustration of today, there is nothing I can do, but I’m very gratefuI,” Alonso said.

“I will always think of Alpine or Renault with good memories. We won the two championships, I spent nine years of my life in Formula 1 with Renault or Alpine.

“I will be thankful always and wish them the best of luck next year.”

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