Alonso admits Alpine ‘weren’t fast enough’ at Monza as retirement opens the door for McLaren
Fernando Alonso says Alpine “expected more” from their Italian Grand Prix weekend as the team left the Autodromo Nazionale Monza point-less for only the second time this season.
Alonso started the race in P6 after grid penalties for a host of rival drivers, but reported deployment issues over the radio as he battled to maintain position, and was called into the pits to retire on Lap 31 – shortly after the halfway mark.
“There was something [wrong] on the engine. We lacked deployment at the beginning [of the race] and we were cutting the energy very short on the straights,” explained Alonso.
“It was difficult to keep some battles alive, but at the end something bigger happened because we had to stop the car – let’s see if the engine is alive for future races," he added, with Alpine subsequently noting a suspected water pressure issue as the root cause of his DNF.
Assessing Alpine’s general pace at the Temple of Speed, the two-time world champion said: “I think we were just on the edge of the points – P10 or P9 maximum. We were expecting more from this weekend; we were not fast enough. Let’s see if in Singapore we go back to our best level.”
As for team mate Esteban Ocon, a pre-race grid penalty due to an engine change saw him start back in 14th and, despite his best efforts, he was unable to break into the points – meaning Alpine left a Grand Prix empty-handed for the first time since Imola back in April.
“We came short – one position, let’s say – from the points, which is a bit disappointing, of course. I was faster than the cars in front, but we didn’t have enough laps, and the Safety Car came [out] once it was going to start to be fun!” Ocon commented.
“Without the penalty [and Alonso’s retirement] this weekend, we would have been in the points with both cars. It’s a bit of a tough one to swallow, but we’re going to come back stronger.”
With Alpine failing to score in Italy, main rivals McLaren – who finished seventh with Lando Norris – are now 18 points adrift in the battle for fourth position in the constructors’ championship.