Ferrari's Fernando Alonso
left the Malaysian Grand Prix
at the Sepang International Circuit
empty-handed on Sunday when an engine failure put him out within sight of the chequered flag.
Alonso, who started 19th after getting caught out by the rain in qualifying on Saturday - along with the likes of his team-mate, Felipe Massa
and the McLaren's of Lewis Hamilton
and Jenson Button
- made a good start and was up to 13th by lap 10.
Indeed despite gearbox issues from the off, the Spaniard continued to progress and was fifth by the time he stopped for tyres on lap 37, the last man to do so. While that dropped him back and behind Jenson Button
in P8, he soon reeled the Englishman in and was pushing him hard when a puff of smoke came out from the back of his Ferrari
F10 as he tried to dive by.
Despite failing to score though and despite losing the lead in the race for the F1 2010 drivers' title - he now lies two points behind Massa, with the same amount of points as Malaysian GP winner, Sebastian Vettel
- Alonso wasn't too disheartened.
"This was a very difficult weekend. We made a big mistake in yesterday's qualifying and today in the race, I had to retire with an engine problem. My race was an uphill climb from the start: I found I had a problem with the gearbox right from the start and I had to drive without a clutch for practically the whole race," Alonso reflected.
"Trying to look on the positive side, at least the engine failure only cost me two points: it would have been much worse if I had been in the lead! Seeing what happened in the previous days, it made sense to expect rain and so we made the first stint as long as possible, but unfortunately, it did not happen. Today, we gave Red Bull
a little gift: if we had qualified in a normal fashion then we would certainly have given them a hard time."
Asked if the engine problem is a concern for the rest of the season, Alonso added that he has faith the Scuderia will be able to sort it out.
"I am not worried about the engine failure, as our engineers have enough experience and ability to resolve this situation," he replied. "[Furthermore] given everything that happened [this weekend], we can be proud of what we managed to do in the race and we can look forward with confidence to the next Grand Prix, which we will be trying to win."