He was the darling of Hungary three weeks ago, but Fernando Alonso found out just how quickly Formula One's answer to Lady Luck can turn her back on a driver when he spun out of the qualifying session at Monza.

The Renault pilot took pole and his first grand prix victory at the Hungaroring, but got barely as far as the second corner in Italy before finding that he would need a truckload of fortune to prevent himself looking at the starting lights from the other end of the grid. Heading into the opening chicane at Monza, it initially appeared that Alonso had simply called for too much throttle before the back end of his car gave up its grip, but the team later saved his blushes by admitting to a technical problem.

"There's not much to say really - I went into the first chicane as normal, but the car spun on the exit because the traction control was not working," Alonso revealed, "As you would expect, I am disappointed, but tomorrow is another day. We know it is possible to score points starting from the back, so it's not over yet."

Engineering director Pay Symonds backed up Alonso's claim, saying that the Spaniard would have had no warning that his usual level of traction was missing.

"Fernando was extremely unlucky - it appears there was a major electrical failure on his car as he started the timed lap which effectively knocked out all the control systems," he explained, "Without warning that this had happened, he lost control of the car as he exited the first chicane."

Although he completed his flying lap in the vain hope that others following him would also strike trouble, Alonso will start the Italian GP by sharing the tenth row with Minardi's Nicolas Kiesa.

Renault's hopes of another points finish was helped by the performance of Jarno Trulli, however, as the Italian took sixth place on a competitive grid.

"It was a good lap, and I am happy with the result, particularly here at my home race," Trulli reported, "Having said that, I think I could have gone a little faster - the car had the potential to be a bit quicker. I have got a good balance, and the new engine spec ran well - from the driver's seat, you can feel the difference. I am confident we can score points tomorrow."

 

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