Alonso ecstatic over race performance before retirement at Chinese GP

F1i 13:18 09/04/2017
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Fernando Alonso

Alonso started 13th in the tricky conditions but put his flair and skills to good use, climbing as high as 8th before the transmission of his MCL32 decided to call it a day.

Despite another retirement, Alonso reckoned his drive was even better than in Australia! “Yeah, incredible,” said Alonso.

“I thought Australia would be unrepeatable and here it was the same or even better. The conditions helped and so we took advantage of that.

“People were spinning left and right and we were gaining places more or less for free, and then when the track was damp we were keeping the pace of the best with a top speed deficit that’s pretty incredible.

“One of the best things that have happened to me,” he added.

Alonso believes that he was en route to challenge for points before his driveshaft issue, even affording himself the luxury of keeping Valtteri Bottas Mercedes behind at one point.

“I think we’d be fighting with Perez and Magnussen for the final points,” he said.

“I think we could have scored one or two points like in Australia in an incredible way, because running ahead of Bottas and that he can’t overtake you for two or three laps was one of the most surreal things that have ever happened to me.

“He was like 300m behind me and he passed me on the straight but then I could sort of stay with him on the following lap, so it was one of the most surreal things that have happened to me.”

Alonso admits that because of their lack of testing mileage McLaren are still in discovery mode at this stage of the season.

“As we said in Australia: having not done testing, we are discovering new problems race after race. Let’s hope we can have a normal reliability soon to be able to finish the races.”

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