Fernando Alonso: No one else could've handled my Baku car damage

Fernando Alonso believes other drivers would have "parked their cars" had they suffered the kind of damage he had at the start of Formula 1's Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso: No one else could've handled my Baku car damage

The McLaren driver was hit by the Williams of Sergey Sirotkin in a three-abreast moment also involving Nico Hulkenberg on the opening lap in Baku, and was forced to crawl back to the pits with two punctured tyres that disintegrated on the way.

After replacing the front wing and the wheels, Alonso returned to the race and managed to recover to seventh position despite the damage to the floor of his car.

Alonso said the position was the result of "persistence and pride" and labelled his performance as the best of his life.

"Very crazy. Another seventh place but I think it was the result of persistence and pride, because I think no one [else] would have reached the pitlane, first of all," Alonso said.

"They would have parked the car and if they could reach the pitlane they would have retired the car.

"But we didn't park or retire the car and fought for every tenth, every lap, close to the walls all race long and, I think it was the best race of my life.

"I reached the pitlane thanks to a miracle. I didn't have two wheels or front wing or floor or anything.

"They changed the tyres and they told me the car was heavily damaged so I thought I wouldn't be able to finish or that I would be very slow.

"But I started overtaking cars and then with the safety car I gained some positions in the end."

Alonso admitted he had "feared the worst" when he was informed about the damage to his car, and conceded the result came as a surprise.

When asked how much laptime the damage was costing him, he said: "They told me significant damage and when they say that it's usually bad news because if it's little they'd say you only have a damaged wing, that shouldn't be a problem.

"When they said significant damage I feared the worst."

Team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne completed another double-points finish for McLaren with ninth position.

shares
comments
Sergio Perez keeps Baku F1 podium after stewards' DRS investigation
Previous article

Sergio Perez keeps Baku F1 podium after stewards' DRS investigation

Next article

Red Bull and Honda have first formal talks over 2019 F1 engine deal

Red Bull and Honda have first formal talks over 2019 F1 engine deal
How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Plus

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Plus

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Plus

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022