8 June 2015
F1 Canadian Grand Prix: Alonso not frustrated, but not happy looking like amateur
Fernando Alonso insists that he was not defying team orders during the Canadian Grand Prix, rather pleading to be allowed to enjoy himself while he could.
Fernando Alonso insists that he is not losing patience with the McLaren-Honda project, despite a radio communication to the team during the Canadian Grand Prix suggesting otherwise.
The exchange between the Spaniard and his engineer began with the instructions 'We must save fuel, we must target zero' before continuing as follows:
Alonso: "I don't want, I don't want.”
Engineer: "We're going to have big problems later if we don't.”
Alonso: "Already I have big problems now! Driving with this, looking like amateur. So I race and then I concentrate on the fuel."
The Spaniard claims that what appeared to be brow-beaten defiance at being asked to save fuel just a third of the way into the 70-lap race was in fact just a plea to be able to enjoy himself while the opportunity to battle other driver presented itself, perhaps knowing that the chance would be brief as he slid backwards through the field.
Alonso started 13th despite missing a large part of Saturday morning practice, and would later retire with an as yet unexplained power loss on his MP4-30, and maintains that his latent refusal to partake in fuel saving measures, coupled with what appeared to be a complaint about the car's combined lack of pace and reliability, was more akin to the last request of a condemned man.
“No, not frustration,” he insisted, “In different parts of the race, you need different techniques - different fuel saving techniques, different tyre saving techniques – and, in the early part of the race, I did not agree that it was the part to do that as I had some battles going on. After three or four reminders, I said 'let me race' because my good motivation is to have cars around and, if we are alone at the end of the race, I can save fuel at that point. We just need to have some fun and we did, having some battles - probably the best part of the race was when we were fighting with other cars.”
In particular, Alonso enjoyed one-and-a-half laps defending from Sebastian Vettel, himself recovering from a Saturday nightmare, but he ultimately had no answer to the Ferrari – or to the majority of other cars who seemed to be able to breeze by the McLaren.
“It's difficult when cars catch you and they are 55kph faster down the straight,” he sighed, “They're in a different category and, when everyone passes you that easily, you look like an amateur driver, which isn't good.
“I had some fun, but in defensive mode as we were too slow down the straight to overtake anyone, so it was more defending than attacking unfortunately. But at least I had some fun – and, in the end, I didn't need to save any fuel as we didn't finish the race!”
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