‘I nearly crashed’ – Alonso on why he retired in Austin, and THAT battle with Raikkonen
Alpine’s Fernando Alonso engaged in a close-quarters battle with former title rival Kimi Raikkonen in the United States Grand Prix, and while that fight left him frustrated, worse was to follow when he was forced to retire from the Austin race.
Alonso was hit with grid penalties for changing his power unit and thus started 19th at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday, but the two-time champion made it as high as 11th in the race before being forced to retire on Lap 49.
Asked why he retired the car he said: “We broke the rear wing, so yes, at one point I nearly crashed in the penultimate corner. Luckily that did happen there and not in the first sector.
“I looked in the mirror and the rear wing was bent rearwards, so, maybe the bumps or whatever, it was very demanding for the car today. We need to analyse it because at the moment we’re not sure why it happened.”
But the Spaniard was left frustrated having come off worse in two encounters with the Alfa Romeo drivers. On the first occasion, he lost out to Raikkonen, who passed him on Lap 16 going wide around Turn 1. A few laps later, he attempted to pass Antonio Giovinazzi at Turn 12 but was forced to give the place back – with the reverse happening soon after, when Giovinazzi passed Alonso off track at Turn 12 and handed the place back to the veteran.
Looking back, he said: “The rules are a little bit random. It’s the way it is. Unfortunately, you know, for the fans here in America and everything, they saw today a show that they didn’t deserve.
“There were some incidents that perhaps we need to look at,” he added. “Two of them were penalised and one was not.”
Thanks to his DNF Stateside, Alonso has not scored a point since his P6 finish in the Russian Grand Prix as he prepares to head to Mexico for the next race.