Alonso stars but fails to finish

Fernando Alonso may not have finished the Austrian Grand Prix at the A1 Ring, but once again he outshone his more experienced Renault team-mate Jarno Trulli and could easily have bagged a load of points had his engine not failed

Alonso stars but fails to finish

The Spaniard, whose star potential was confirmed two weeks ago with a fantastic second place at his home GP in Barcelona, started the race from the pit lane after messing up his qualifying lap. A combination of good fortune (two aborted starts put him back on the grid after a last minute engine change) and excellent strategy saw him running fifth by the time he pitted.

"This was maybe the best race for me so far," said Alonso. "I started from the pit lane and I was moving up the field. I think we could have fought for points and had a good finish. But I spun when the rear wheels locked up as the engine failed.

"The one-stop strategy was right and I was in eighth position when I was forced to retire. It's the first time I haven't finished a race this season - and hopefully the last! We proved competitive on this circuit however, which is not the best for us, so I am very optimistic for all the races to come."

Trulli for his part was disappointed with his race even though he scored the final championship point for eighth place: "A tough race definitely. I made a mistake when I slid in the light rain early on, which lost me quite a few positions. Then I was stuck in traffic.

"The drivers ahead of me were slower and the team decided to change strategy. Thanks to that, I was able to climb up again but somehow the car wasn't quite right after my first pit stop and I just couldn't improve as I wanted. Eighth place and one point is not too bad but I had expected much better from this race."

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