Formula 1

Alonso: Points haul from first four races of F1 season ‘painful’

Alonso was forced out of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after just five laps, having picked up damage to the floor and sidepod of his Alpine after contact with Mick Schumacher on the opening lap.

Alpine called Alonso into the pits when part of the sidepod on the right-hand side of his car detached on the main straight, ending his hopes of scoring any points over the Imola weekend after already slipping back from sixth on the grid in the sprint race.

The setback came after Alonso failed to score any points in Australia despite believing he had the pace to fight for pole position, only for a hydraulic issue to cause him to crash in Q3.

The two-time world champion has just two points to his name after four races, compared to team-mate Esteban Ocon’s tally of 20.

“I prefer to finish the season better than start it good and then finish it bad,” Alonso said after retiring from the race.

“So if you want to choose one way, it is [to do it] the other way around and finish on a better performance.

“But at the same time, when you see the races on TV, and I’ve been seeing too many at the moment in the first four, and to have only two points in the championship while I should have maybe 25 or 30, that’s painful.”

Alonso felt there had been “a lot of unlucky moments” for him so far this season that were out of his hands, calling Imola “another example”. But he took heart from his turnaround in 2021 after a difficult start.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

“I remember last year after Imola I had only one point and the season was a little bit rough at that point,” he said.

“Then we ended up high in the championship and quite competitive. So let’s see if this year we can do the same.”

The contact with Schumacher damaged the updated floor that Alpine had brought to Imola, leaving Alonso unsure if it could be repaired for the next race in Miami.

“Everyone will agree that we’ve been very unlucky,” Alonso said.

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“We have some reliability issues, we had this problem in Australian qualifying. Today everyone is touching each other on the start and nothing happened, their cars seem unbreakable.

“But our car, it’s just a small kiss from Mick and it’s completely destroyed. I don’t know even if this floor will be useable in Miami.

“There are a lot of consequences out of our hands so not by our own mistakes, only because of someone else or something, [and] that is quite painful.”

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