Alonso says he's 'minus 60 points' in the championship after double DNF for Alpine in Singapore
Alpine endured a Singapore Grand Prix to forget as both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon retired early from Sunday’s race with mechanical problems, leaving the pair frustrated with the team’s reliability issues.
On his record breaking 350th Grand Prix start, Alonso lined up in fifth place but lost a position to rival Lando Norris on the run down to Turn 1, leaving the Spaniard running in sixth place but comfortably in the points.
However, on Lap 21, Alonso pulled over to the side of the track with an engine issue and while the Spaniard was encouraged by the performance, he lamented his fourth DNF of the season, insisting that Alpines reliability issues have cost him a lot in the championship.
“Not happy for sure, a little bit disappointed,” Alonso admitted. “Once more I think I was minus 50 points already this year with the mechanical issues and so we add another ten, so I am minus 60.
“So, if you add 60 points to my standings, I think we are in another league. I am very proud of the performance again this weekend, one of my best levels but we cannot finish when we are in the points. So, nothing we can do now at this point."
Alonso had been holding off the charging Red Bull of Max Verstappen for nine laps before his retirement, and when asked if he had seen any previous signs that his race might be coming to an end, he said: “No warning at all. Something happened, the noise was quite ugly, so I guess it was something on the engine.”
Team mate Ocon started the race down in 17th but made a solid start on Sunday, getting up to 15th on the first lap. However, while running in 13th on Lap 27 the French driver stopped on track with smoke coming from his car. After the race, Ocon was keen to move on to the next race at Suzaka.
“We probably had an engine issue today. I saw some white smoke coming down the back and I could hear something in that same lap going louder and louder. The car hasn't returned yet, so we don’t know exactly what the issue is but yeah, it’s a frustrating day for us.
“The good thing is that we have a competitive car, we have a car we can count on next week. I look forward to Suzuka, it’s one of my favourite tracks, so I can’t wait to be there.”
Asked whether his and Alonso's issues might be related, Ocon said: “I don’t know if the issues are linked or not. So, as I said we will investigate, understand what happened. Its racing, it sometimes happens.”
After going to Singapore fourth in the championship with an 18-point lead over McLaren in the constructors’ standings, Alpine now head to Suzuka fifth, trailing their midfield rivals by four points.