Fernando Alonso exasperated: ‘I felt fast but once more, Car 14 stops’

Fernando Alonso adjusts his helmet. Spa August 2022. Credit: Alamy
Fernando Alonso adjusts his helmet. Spa August 2022. Credit: Alamy

Fernando Alonso is ready for a “new chapter” after another retirement came his way in Mexico – his fifth of the season, to be precise.

The Spaniard had been running well throughout the Mexico City Grand Prix, taking on the ‘best of the rest’ mantle for the vast majority of the race while in seventh, behind the Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari drivers.

But an engine problem saw him slow down initially and fall behind team-mate Esteban Ocon and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, but his race ended on lap 66 of 71 when a puff of smoke came from the back of his Alpine as he headed down to Turn 1.

He was able to get to the run-off area safely and marshals could get his Alpine away from the track promptly, but his anger was clear as he was forced to retire once again this season.

Alonso believes his running total of lost points is now up towards the 70 mark, given the positions he has given up through retirements or strategy failings in 2022.

He now runs the risk of being outscored over the course of a full season for the first time in his career – with Ocon 11 points clear of the two-time World Champion heading into the final two races this year.

With that continuing run of bad luck, Alonso is looking forward to moving on from 2022 and his next move to Aston Martin, particularly having shown the pace he has done in the past couple of races.

“Once more, Car 14 stops before the chequered flag,” a clearly frustrated Alonso said to Formula1.com after retiring from the race.

“So yeah, we lost now I think it’s around 70 points [this season] – the deficit is pointless to talk about once more.

“So, let’s see. Only two races to go and then a new chapter.

“I think Austin and Mexico have been the best races in my personal point of view, pace wise, I was like 20 seconds or something like that ahead of the McLarens and my team-mate.

“So yeah, I felt fast today. But once again, as I said, Car 14 stops.”

Alpine lost ground to McLaren in the Constructors’ Championship race after both Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris scored for their rivals, but the French marque still hold a slender seven-point lead over McLaren in the race for fourth place in the championship with two races to go.

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