Fernando Alonso has fresh Alpine hope after wretched DNF run

Fernando Alonso in the paddock. Sao Paulo November 2022. Credit: Alamy
Fernando Alonso in the paddock. Sao Paulo November 2022. Credit: Alamy

Fernando Alonso has said he feels “relaxed” about the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, but admitted he simply wants his weekend to be “straightforward”.

Alonso was left seething after his fifth retirement of the season last time out in Mexico City, having been running well throughout the race before a cylinder failed on his power unit, which eventually forced his retirement from the race.

He spoke in frustrated tones after the race, believing he has now been cost upwards of 60 points through reliability issues or bad luck through 2022 so far, admitting in the heat of the moment he is now ready for his “fresh start” with Aston Martin next season.

He has since calmed down about the way his race unfolded in Mexico, and seems confident about his and Alpine’s chances around Interlagos.

The two-time World Champion revealed that his defunct power unit from Mexico was an old engine, so he brushed off concerns about taking a grid penalty in Brazil, so he hopes for an easier time of things this time around.

“I think we are quite relaxed about this weekend,” Alonso told Sky Sports F1 on Thursday.

“[The] circuit requires some efficiency on the car, [that] has been our strength in circuits like Spa, Suzuka – so it should be a competitive weekend for us.

“But yeah, let’s see the weather as well. Some threats of rain any day at any time, so we have to be sharp on that. But yeah, hopefully a straightforward weekend.”

Alonso and Alpine are locked in a tight battle against McLaren for fourth in the Constructors’ Championship as it stands, with only seven points between the teams heading into the final two rounds of the year.

Despite holding a slender advantage and having two chances to score points, in sprint qualifying and the race respectively, the Spaniard knows that battle is likely to go down to the wire – and is what is keeping the fire burning in the team for the rest of the year.

“For sure, it’s going to be into Abu Dhabi,” Alonso said. “I think, even if we have a very good weekend or they have a very good weekend, we can only score four or six points more than each other.

“So it’s going to be always decided in Abu Dhabi, but that’s our motivation at the moment. You know, we are not fighting for the championship, everything is decided by now, so our little goal is what keeps us motivated.”

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