After a fraught start to his Brazilian Grand Prix weekend, simply seeing the chequered flag on race day was an achievement in itself for Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard, who inadvertently set the internet alight after taking to a deckchair when his car expired at the start of qualifying, was forced to start from the back of the grid but, with another new Honda unit fitted to his McLaren, came home one lap down, in 15th position.
“Finishing the race was the first priority,” Alonso noted, “Hopefully, we got some info for the team, good data. Both cars finished the race, so that's a positive sign after some retirements and hopefully we can move forward from here.”
The race was not without its problems for Alonso, however, with the Spaniard reporting yet another glitch with the latest power unit.
“The car was not working 100 per cent from the beginning, with different power in different gears, so that was a bit strange to drive sometimes!” he revealed, “It's happened in a couple of practice, but we fixed it. We fitted a new engine and we didn't have any laps to set up the engine, so maybe it's normal. At least we finished the race and, hopefully, we can analyse everything, especially on the chassis side, as to what the best way is to move forward.”
Having made the most of his downtime on Saturday afternoon – adding an impromptu visit to the podium with team-mate Jenson Button to catching some rays trackside – Alonso appeared to have already adopted the holiday spirit, and the veteran admits that he is looking forward to the end of the season – if, mostly, because it means the start of next year is slightly closer.
“Yes, holiday coming!” he smiled, “Outside the track and outside the car, it's always good fun. The team has a very good atmosphere and I'm enjoying my time. Obviously, when the green light is on, it's not much fun to be that slow, but we're trying to improve as soon as we can. Definitely some holidays - and some work to do with the team to prepare next year in a better way.”