Renault Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo says Fernando Alonso’s failure to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 was “sad to see”.

The double world champion and McLaren suffered a humiliating elimination from qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as he was knocked out by a last-gasp effort from American Kyle Kaiser.

Ricciardo said he expected Alonso to be “relatively competitive”, adding that his shock failure to secure a spot on the 2019 grid reflects how difficult the competition is.

“Personally, because I’ve never done it - driven an IndyCar or been on an oval - I never really had an expectation for Alonso, as far as I didn’t know how easy or difficult it would be,” the Australian said.

“I had confidence that he’d be able to hop in and be relatively competitive because he is a very good driver, and very capable and still very motivated and driven.

“That showed in 2017, but I guess as well this year it looks like you have to be a good driver but the set-up and all those things at those margins is so important.

“I don’t know the ins and outs but everything needs to work right and that is the thing with race cars, it is a love-hate relationship. This year with him was more of a hate one.

“It is sad to see, as part of the F1 family we want to see him do well. For reasons I could not understand or explain, I am not in that world.”

Williams driver Robert Kubica reckons people should be cautious about judging Alonso’s performance after he qualified 34th out of 36.

“I would never comment on something what I don’t know enough information,” Kubica explained. “Looking through the classification it’s too easy to arrive to a wrong assumptions or conclusions.

“Fernando, we know what a great driver he is and he showed two years ago that he was fighting there for even winning on [his] debut. This year it didn’t work but there is nothing a lot to say.”

 

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