Alonso Fights Fever to Score First Podium

Fernando Alonso revealed he was beset by problems at Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix and said after the race that he was fortunate to get his Renault to the end of the race.

Alonso Fights Fever to Score First Podium

Fernando Alonso revealed he was beset by problems at Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix and said after the race that he was fortunate to get his Renault to the end of the race.

Already the youngest ever pole starter, the 21-year-old became the first Spaniard on the podium since Alfonso de Portago was second at Silverstone in 1956 for Ferrari. Alonso, who finished third behind Kimi Raikkonen and Rubens Barrichello, revealed he has been struggling with a flu during the race.

"I feel quite sick at the moment," Alonso said. "At the start of the race it (the temperature) was 38.5 and now it is quite high."

His illness was not the only thing that gave him difficulty in the race, however, because his car had developed electrical problems after the second stop and forced him to shut down the automatic gearbox system.

"Everything was okay and worked as we had expected at the start," he added. "We had enough fuel to do a normal two-stop strategy and it was a good feeling to be in the front of the race. I was fighting with (Ferrari driver) Rubens (Barrichello) in the second stint but then I had a problem with the gears and I changed to manual shifting. I was lucky to finish the race."

Alonso made his Formula One debut with Minardi two years ago but was taken to Renault by team boss Flavio Briatore and is strongly tipped to be a world champion of the future. His performance at Sepang, along with that of fellow youngster Kimi Raikkonen, 23, who won for McLaren-Mercedes, prompted talk of a changing order at the front of Formula One.

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