Alonso to race with injured thumbs after Australian GP qualifying crash

Fernando Alonso will race in the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix with his hands strapped up following his crash in qualifying on Saturday.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

The Alpine driver says the impact left him with sore thumbs, but he insists he will be OK for the race.

Alonso was on a lap that might have earned him pole position in Q3 when a hydraulic failure towards the end of the lap pitched him off the road and into a tyre barrier.

By holding onto the steering wheel his hands and thumbs received a heavy jolt, and led to the strapping that was very visible on Sunday at Albert Park.

“I’m fine,” he said. “Obviously yesterday I held the steering until the last moment before the crash, just to save the front wing. But I had no power steering at that moment, we had nothing.

“It was an extension of the thumbs, so it is a little bit painful now, but it’s going to be OK for the race.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, in the pit lane

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, in the pit lane

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

After qualifying Alonso was convinced that he could have got pole, even posting on social media a comparison of sector times between himself and Charles Leclerc, who will start at the front.

“The gearbox was not working,” he said when asked after qualifying about the failure that stopped him.

“The engine also switched off, the power steering switched off. So I think there is something that we need to investigate.

“It is unbelievable how unlucky we are, because 20 seconds later, maybe we were on pole if the car stops in Turn 1, instead of Turn 11. These races are difficult to explain.”

Alonso didn’t set a lap time in Q3 which meant he will start from 10th on the grid. He’s hopeful that he has the pace to make progress, although ironically he noted he will need help from the track’s DRS zones, having successfully campaigned to have one removed on safety grounds.

“I hope so,” he said on Sunday when asked if he could take advantage of the car’s pace.

“We need to rely on the DRS zones today, and the new layout. But the car was fast yesterday, so why not today again?”

Following the incident in Q3, which led to Fernando’s crash at Turn 11, the team investigated the issue this morning. Small damage to an oil ring was found, which led to the car cutting out mid-corner during Fernando’s Qualifying lap.

Since then, the team has worked to fix the part and Fernando will therefore start today’s race from tenth place on the grid.

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