Alonso struggled with damaged car

Alonso struggled with damaged car

Formula 1

Alonso struggled with damaged car

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Fernando Alonso said he was left struggling with a damaged Ferrari for the whole Indian Grand Prix after his first-lap incidents.

The two-time world champion had to finish first or second to have any hope of further delaying Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 Formula 1 coronation. But instead Alonso was left 11th following first-lap clashes with Mark Webber and Jenson Button, while Vettel dominated.

“Obviously, it was not a clean start,” said Alonso, who clipped Webber’s Red Bull after it banged wheels with Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus at Turn 1. “I was a bit unlucky because I think Mark was also having contact with someone and the third part of that equation was me. And I had a battle in [Turn] Four as well [with Jenson Button].

“The race was uphill from that moment as we were last with one stop already done. It was damaged in the front because the steering was very heavy in the right corners and very light to the left.”

Alonso said there was no doubt that Vettel and Red Bull were deserving 2013 F1 champions, and just hoped he and Ferrari could be closer next season.

“I congratulate him,” he said. “They’ve been very strong, very dominant, especially in the second half of the season, so they deserve to be champions. We need to start thinking for next year and try to make things more difficult for him.”

Ferrari is now four points behind Mercedes in the battle for second in the constructors’ standings.

“I think overall the weekend was not good enough and in Abu Dhabi we have to improve if we want to pass Mercedes in the constructors’ championship,” said Alonso.

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