Fernando Alonso says he has been left “speechless” by what he deems to be bad luck at the start of the new Formula 1 season, following two scoreless races.
The Spaniard was running strongly in Saudi Arabia before retiring with a suspected water pump issue, and then saw a rapid qualifying lap in Melbourne ended by a hydraulic problem. Starting from 10th on the hard compound tire, Alonso was looking to make progress until an ill-timed second safety car dropped him outside of the points and he believes a podium finish escaped Alpine.
“Speechless, to be honest,” Alonso said. “It’s hard to accept that everything is going in the wrong way at the moment. It’s only three races in the championship — luck is going to compensate sooner or later in the 23 races and we will be, on other occasions, lucky I guess.
“But at the moment, we lost P6 in Saudi guaranteed. (In Melbourne), we were looking for P6 or P7 before the safety car. If we take into account (Saturday’s) problem, the podium was very easy with Max (Verstappen) out. Beating George (Russell) on the podium, I think we were quite a lot faster than Mercedes at this circuit, so we lost an opportunity.”
While Alonso is hopeful Alpine’s luck will turn around at some stage, he is concerned it will not happen at a race where the team has the outright pace it showed in Australia.
“Obviously that’s the problem, that it is not guaranteed that we are fast on the weekends, and when we are fast everything happens on our car or on our side, so this is crazy. But with three rounds gone, we’ve been super unlucky so I guess in the next 20 we will be super lucky, so we will see.”
While Alonso failed to score in Australia, teammate Esteban Ocon was seventh to record his third top-seven finish of the season, but the Frenchman also felt there was more on the table.
“I’m not as pleased as I was in the last couple races,” Ocon said. “I think a lot more could have been possible. I think there was quite a big train of cars that we were stuck behind — there was more pace available for us and in the end it’s a shame, because I think top five could have been possible.
“It was a difficult weekend but, you know, to finish P7 is still a very strong result and I think there is plenty of knowledge we can take onboard.”