5 July 2015
F1 British Grand Prix: No party as Alonso claims first point
Fernando Alonso admitted that there would be no big celebration to mark his first point of 2015, although the achievement would mean something to McLaren and Honda.
Fernando Alonso benefited from the British weather as he claimed his first point of the 2015 F1 season, but admitted that it was good only for morale at McLaren.
Having come close to breaking into the top ten on several occasions this season, Alonso finally added his name to the scoreboard when early attrition – which involved his MP4-30 – was followed by an ill-timed tyre change for Sauber's Marcus Ericsson. When the Swede fitted a new set of slick tyres one lap before the heaviest rain of the afternoon hit Silverstone, it was Alonso's cue to take tenth place in a car already shod with more suitable intermediate Pirellis.
The lone point adds to the two that team-mate Jenson Button secured for the embattled McLaren-Honda operation in Monaco, but Alonso insisted that there would be no big celebration at Woking.
“It's one point and it's not the best result, not what we want, but it's important for the team to start scoring points and get some results because we know we are improving,” he insisted, “When we get some points, like Jenson did in Monaco and I have today, this is the proof that we are moving in the right direction.
“I'm not so excited, but I know it was important for team morale and the motivation of everyone. The team is very focused on the job and we know it is a long-term project at the moment. There are no magic solutions from race to race, and I think we deserved more to get some points in Spain and Monaco…. Here we were P11 and, thanks to the rain, we got P10.”
The result might have been even better for Alonso had the timing of his final pit-stop been better but, with squally showers passing quickly over the circuit, he was not the only one to miss out.
“It was tough [deciding when to go to inters] but, when you are out of the points, you are able to risk more,” he reasoned, “At that time, thunderstorms were coming, and maybe some people were going out with the slick tyre or maybe not finishing the lap, so the result could have been even better. But it didn't rain for five laps so we were out there with inters on a dry circuit and it only worked for one position.”
Conversely, the Spaniard may not have been around to pick up Ericsson's spot had the melee at Village resulted in anything worse than a damaged nose wing.
“[The start] was unbelievable, a big mess going into turn three, especially with the two Lotuses,” Alonso sighed, “They were far too aggressive and touched each other. To avoid them, I had half a spin and touched Jenson, so one McLaren retired and I think both Lotuses retired… It needed more common sense…”
While the relief at finally opening his account nine rounds into the season might be palpable, Alonso's resigned frustration showed through during the round of post-race media interviews, as he was asked whether he was looking forward to the three-week break before the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of the month.
“It would be nice to have a break until next year...,” he smiled.
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