F1 » 27 October 2013
Indian Grand Prix: Alonso: It was an uphill battle
Fernando Alonso sees his title bid come to an end in India as he fails to even make it into the top ten
Fernando Alonso admitted that he was always facing a uphill battle in the Indian Grand Prix after an incident on the opening lap cost him any chance of trying to challenge for a place on the podium.
The Ferrari driver had qualified back in eighth place but was on the medium tyre for the start, meaning he was planning to run a long opening stint compared to a number of his rivals ahead.
However, contact with both Mark Webber and then Jenson Button on the opening lap forced Alonso to pit early for a new nose and meant he was never in contention for points, instead crossing the line down in eleventh place.
It meant Alosno was unable to keep the fight for the Drivers' championship alive, while Ferrari also slipped down to third in the Constructors' championship.
"Today, the problem I had on the first lap compromised my entire race, because we had to immediately change the nose and with one extra stop, without any opportunity to overtake, it was all an uphill struggle,” he said. “In front of me, Webber touched someone and then me, then at turn four, I also touched with Button. The steering felt very heavy in right hand turns and the only thing to do was pit.
“If you look at Webber's race or Perez's then I'd say our strategy was good, because when the others began to pit, those two were leading, but it's also true that it went well for those who started on the Softs.
“I'm a bit sad at not having scored points for the Constructors' title, but now, if we want to take that second place, we have to do better in the next three races and try to always finish on the podium, at least with one car, if not both."
Technical chief Pat Fry admitted it was a frustrating race for the Spaniard, who he felt deserved to fight back into the points after a challenging afternoon.
“I am very disappointed for Fernando, who could have got a great result today as both strategies proved to be worthwhile,” he said. “Breaking the front wing after the contact with Webber left him with serious understeer and, at that moment, bringing him in earlier than planned, which was the only thing we could do, naturally compromised his race.
“Despite this handicap, Fernando tried all he knew to make up as many places as possible and he deserved to have finished in the points.”
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