F1 »

Alonso reflects on 'hardest race of his life'

Double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has driven some tough races during his time in the top flight - but a battle against a broken gearbox for the duration of the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix, the Ferrari star conceded, was arguably the hardest of them all
Two-time F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has described Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix as the 'hardest race of his life', with myriad difficulties conspiring to blunt his challenge – and an engine failure ultimately depriving him of any points at all just two laps from the chequered flag.

Already on the back foot following Ferrari's calamitous qualifying blunder that had left him down in 19th on the grid [see separate story – click here], Alonso then found himself with gearbox and clutch woes from the moment the lights went out. Stuck helplessly in a midfield train early on comprising both Scuderia Toro Rossos, fellow title-winner Jenson Button and team-mate Felipe Massa, a late pit-stop enabled the Spaniard to gain some ground and move into the points.

From there, the Oviedo native went on to duel heroically with Button, attempting on numerous occasions to find a way by his McLaren-Mercedes rival – but then almost within sight of the finish line, the engine in the back of his scarlet F10 let go in spectacular fashion, meaning that rather than going away with at least two points, Alonso would return home completely empty-handed.

Whilst Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali praised the 22-time grand prix-winner's indomitable fighting spirit in the face of adversity [see separate story – click here], the man himself conceded that all-round it had been a weekend to forget.

“It was a tough weekend,” the 28-year-old told Spanish television. “From the start [of the race] things went wrong. On the formation lap my gearbox broke and I had no clutch during the race, so I had to brake in a weird way. I had to first gear down and then push the throttle hard so it would engage the gear for that corner.

“It was probably the hardest race of my whole life in terms of driving, because I had to improvise for every corner. Even so we were going to get a few points, which in the end was not possible because of the engine – but if the gearbox and then the engine are going to break, it's better that in happens when you are ninth than when you are leading and you lose 25 points.”

The retirement means Alonso has now slipped from the head of the drivers' title chase to equal-second place with Red Bull Racing's Sepang winner Sebastian Vettel, two markers behind new leader Massa.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Race, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10
Race, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10
Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10
Sauber C36 Ferrari
Sauber C36 Ferrari
Sauber C36 Ferrari
Crash.net 2017 Formula 1 Calendar
Michael Schumacher and the 1996 Ferrari F310
Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso - Mercedes, McLaren
Antonio Giovinazzi - Ferrari SF15-T
Manor`s 2017 F1 car model [Pic: Twitter]
Manor`s 2017 F1 car model [Pic: Twitter]
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after winning the 2017 Race of Champions title in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
Juan Pablo Monotya. Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
2017 Race of Champions line-up in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
Kevin Magnussen - Haas F1 Team [credit: Haas F1 Team]
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Whither Alonso

April 05, 2010 3:05 PM

Epic. First off, he is indeed a bothersome personality. However, ANYone who today thinks Alonso lacks any driving skills today after THAT race yesterday is in serious denial. That effort was rather good. Yes, some other greats (a very few) would have done the same, but he proved what a driver and competitor he is for everyone, detractors alike at Malaysia 2010.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.