Fernando Alonso said Ferrari was aware it could be hit by a power unit failure after he caused a red flag in practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

In the final half hour of FP2, Alonso's power unit failed exiting Turn 3 and he was forced to park on the side of the track with flames coming from the rear of the car. While the incident curtailed his running, Alonso said the team was push the unit to the end of its life and was not surprised when it finally let go.

"Today we knew that the power unit had reached the end of its cycle," Alonso said. "So there was a risk we wouldn't finish the second session, but this was part of the programme we have been on for a few races now. It's always a shame not being able to use all the time available, even though I don't think it affected our work too much.

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"The new track surface produced a lot of grip and it was extremely difficult to put together a good lap, because tyre behaviour changed from corner to corner. With a new surface, what effect the rain will have is always an unknown factor, so it's impossible to make predictions. That would have been the case at Sochi too, but it didn't rain there, so it means we have to be ready for every eventuality."

Engineering director Pat Fry added that the problem will not affect Alonso's running over the rest of the weekend.

"The fire, it's a high-mileage Friday engine to be honest," Fry said. "I'm sure every team's in a similar boat so it doesn't really affect the strategy that we run on a Saturday and a Sunday, so that side of things, it looks more spectacular and it's hard work for all of us to clean it all up but it's not that big a deal."