Alonso laments tyre problems

World champion Fernando Alonso was left lamenting his tyre problems following his first pitstop at the Chinese Grand Prix

Alonso laments tyre problems

Alonso was dominating the race from the start until he came into the pits and Renault replaced his left front Michelin, which was very worn by then.

The move backfired, however, and Alonso struggled on track, with both teammate Giancarlo Fisichella and championship rival Michael Schumacher erasing a 20-second advantage quickly.

Both Fisichella and Schumacher passed Alonso with ease, the Spaniard not getting back up to speed until he pitted for the second time.

"We had a good start and a good 15, 20 laps and then we decided to change the front tyres because the left front was nearly a slick, but it wasn't the ideal thing to do because Michael and Giancarlo did not change tyres, they came very close to me and then they disappeared," said Alonso.

"We then took the risk to and try to put on dry tyres and find a miracle, but it was too late.

"You need to really lose the groove of the tyre. In the conditions we were running with slick tyres, not grooves. These eight or nine laps were what was needed to get rid of this.

"For sure with the 20 second gap to the cars behind the best option is to leave the tyres on, but when you come to the pits and your front left is nearly slick then maybe you have to change because you have to do another 20 laps on it. There is a safety issue as well."

Alonso was the fastest man on the dry track at the end of the race and close the gap to Schumacher, but the German won the race to tie on points with the Spaniard with just two races remaining.

Alonso was left rueing the missed opportunity, but the Renault driver is still confident he can win the title.

"I think the weekend has been fantastic and we have to take the positive thing," said the Spaniard. "The race unfortunately was the only conditions we were not quick. It started to dry up and we didn't know if inters or dry would work.

"In wet conditions we were much quicker and in dry also as well because of our times on Friday. But I am confident for the last two races.

"It doesn't matter which feeling you have inside, the winner is Michael and he deserved the victory because he came in front of the other drivers. That is it.

"For sure today we lost one big opportunity and I had this nine or 10 laps in the race that I was completely off the pace and too slow and I think the race finished there."

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