Fernando Alonso couldn’t leave Alpine without some parting shots after he failed to finish the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, questioning why so many of their reliability issues have been on his car.
It’s the third time he’s finished a stint at the Enstone outfit but his afternoon was over earlier than expected for the Spaniard as he pulled up on lap 27 with a water leak.
“It’s been the summary of the year unfortunately for Car 14, so just one more,” Alonso told reporters.
“I’m happy to finish, the facts are this year they’ve been against us a little bit in car 14, 6 DNFs, I think nine or 10 reliability issues, which at this level is obviously not acceptable and they all happen to my car.”
Alongside the race retirements, he also suffered reliability trouble in Australia before he crashed and caused a red flag, and he couldn’t even start the Austrian sprint race.
The Abu Dhabi DNF for Alonso meant Esteban Ocon was confirmed as the lead Alpine driver placing eighth in the drivers’ championship, 11 points ahead of the Spaniard.
Ocon has suffered two DNFs due to reliability issues, at Silverstone and Singapore, and led his teammate by just five points heading to the Yas Marina Circuit.
Alonso‘s return to F1 in 2021 created waves but yet again he leaves a team on less-than-good terms after just two years.
Alpine wanted him to stay one more year and then head up their sportscar team with Oscar Piastri filling the F1 seat in 2024 but Alonso‘s departure for Aston Martin threw a spanner in the works as Piastri headed to McLaren.
That meant Ocon remains at the team as their established driver while Pierre Gasly completes an all-French lineup at the Renault brand.
No rest for the wicked
With Alpine finishing over 100 points ahead of Aston Martin in the constructors’ championship, it looks like a backwards move for Alonso.
However, the team has long-term plans and Alonso was clearly sold on their strategy for success.
“I’m happy to finish this chapter and then start with new motivation,” Alonso added.
“Tomorrow morning we have the seat fit at Aston, Tuesday the tyre test and hopefully a new project with more luck.
“It’s amazing what they’re doing in terms of recruiting people, facilities investment. So yeah, I think good times are coming so I can’t wait for next year.”