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Alonso laments 'race to forget' in Singapore as he fails to score for first time this year

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SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 17: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Aston Martin F1 Team looks on

Aston Martin’s fortunes in the last two races have been in stark contrast to how strongly they started the season, with Singapore following hot on the heels of general disappointment in Monza. Fernando Alonso at least came home in ninth in Italy – in Singapore, he failed to score for the first time in 2023.

The team were already on the back foot before the race began, with Lance Stroll unable to take part after his heavy crash in qualifying. But with Alonso starting in the top 10, there was confidence that they could still pick up a good haul of points.

READ MORE: Norris thanks 'very generous' Sainz for DRS aid as he holds off both Mercedes to finish second in Singapore

But Alonso’s race soon began to unravel as he pushed too hard to make it to the pits when the Safety Car was called, locking up and sliding across the white pit entry line – which earned him a five-second time penalty. And that wasn’t the end of it.

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 17: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) Aston Martin AMR23

A slow pit stop added to Alonso's woes in Singapore

“It was an extremely tough evening: everything that could go wrong did go wrong for us," said Alonso. "It’s better that it happened all in one hit. It was a race to forget for sure, everything that went wrong today, a mistake going into the pits, a slow pit stop, no pace in the car.

“The good thing is that it was only one, it was all concentrated in this one so let’s hope in Japan we reset, we learnt things from this race and we get better.”

To add to the time penalty and slow pit stop, Alonso managed to run off track at one point, losing even more time as he struggled to get his tyres back up to temperature. He wound up coming home a dispiriting 15th – the last man to cross the line.

READ MORE: James Vowles is on a mission to return Williams to winning ways – just don’t ask about the short-term

“Fernando’s race came undone during the Virtual Safety Car when the rear jack did not engage properly during the pit stop,” explained Team Principal Mike Krack afterwards.

Alonso brands Singapore GP ‘a race to forget’ after finishing 15th

“We need to analyse exactly what happened. Even without this issue, scoring points would have been difficult today. We will move on and learn from these difficult days. There is a lot of work ahead of us: we must understand where we can find more performance. There is still a long way to go this season – seven more races with plenty of opportunities and points available.”

Alonso lies fourth in the driver standings, having been overtaken by the podium-scoring Lewis Hamilton, while Aston Martin are fourth in the constructors’, losing further ground to the race-winning Ferrari.

There was one small bright spot for the team though, as Alonso became the first man in F1 history to surpass 100,000km in race conditions.

READ MORE: ‘Not the best birthday’ says race retiree Ocon, as Gasly comes home P6 after ‘intense’ Singapore Grand Prix

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