Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2022

Alpine unreliability like Honda days but only my car breaks down – Alonso

2022 Mexican Grand Prix

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A frustrated Fernando Alonso said he’s counting down to the end of his time at Alpine following his latest retirement in the Mexican Grand Prix.

Alonso was running in seventh place at the head of the midfield until his car began to develop a problem with its Renault power unit which ultimately ended his race.

“For car 14, there is always reliability issues,” lamented Alonso. “With 20 laps to the end I lost one cylinder, so I was running with five cylinders, 20% less power,” Alonso explained. “I was 20 seconds in front of the McLarens and my team mate.

“So I think the race until that point it was exceptional. Austin and here I rate my best two races in terms of pace. It was better when we blew up at the end like this, we stopped the car and we stop doing those laps.”

The retirement is the latest in a string of technical problems Alonso has encountered in his second year at Alpine, who he will leave at the end of the year.

“I lost 60 points this year, so we add another six, so it’s around 66. And obviously all the others they benefit, so everyone scores two more than what they should.

“But yes, it’s just amazing that only one or two cars retire at every race and it’s always car 14. [I] blew up five engines I think this year, the problem in Australia in the qualifying, in Austria I didn’t even start [a] race because it was a black-out.

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“So I think it’s in 19 races, more or less 50% of the races, we didn’t score the points we deserved. But nothing we can do now.”

He said he hasn’t known unreliability like it since he drove Honda’s first V6 hybrid turbo power unit at McLaren in 2015. It was notoriously prone to failures, and the many engine parts changes led him to receive huge grid position penalties.

“In the Honda in the first year of Honda we had like 72 places [grid] penalty at the end of the year, so something like that,” he said. “But the thing in Honda is that the both cars were stopping. This year there’s only car 14 stopping.”

Alonso, who will join Aston Martin at the end of the year, says Renault have a lot of work to do on their power unit during the off-season.

“I mean, the engine cannot finish the races. It cannot be bad luck when you have to change six or seven engines as we did and we’re still not finishing in the races.

“So I think they have some job to do next winter, hopefully not too much, and let’s see.”

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2022 Mexican Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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26 comments on “Alpine unreliability like Honda days but only my car breaks down – Alonso”

  1. Sad years at Ferrari, sad years at McLaren and sad years at Alpine. What a waste.

  2. F1 is full of such coincidences, when one car has amazing reliability, while the other suffers from technical problems every second race. Remember how many times Bottas didn’t finish the race because of that, while Sir Lewis Hamilton basically had 1 DNF in 5 seasons? What a coincidence that was! Now it’s Alonso who’s the victim of such coincidences and I’m sure Alpine will be super happy with their French Dream Team next year.

    1. In 2016 Hamilton had the vast majority of mechanical failures handing Rosberg the championship.

    2. You will always draw Lewis in. I’m not surprised. mtcheeewwww!

  3. “Alonso, who will join Alpine at the end of the year, says Renault have a lot of work to do on their power unit during the off-season.”
    Don’t think Alonso will join Alpine next season though.

  4. Hardest working driver on the grid by far, so no surprise he’s frustrated. Once again he gave everything in that race and I’m sure in a Redbull he’d be challenging Max.

    He’d easily have ten championships by now if the teams he’d joined shared his excellence and consistency.

    1. I’m always surprised when I read claims like these.
      I’ve no idea how hard anybody’s working!

      1. 30 plus years of F1 viewing makes it easy to spot the really good ones.

        1. Indeed, you can spot the ones who are a notch above others. I would only classify Alonso, Hamilton and Verstappen as Tier 1 talent in the current field who are able to get the maximum out of what’s available, across car changes.

  5. Given Renault’s track record since 2014, what exactly did you expect Fernando?

  6. The G(WI)OAT. The Greatest What If Of All Time

  7. Terrible reliability, but admittedly I liked his reactions & the ”hopefully, not too much” remark.

  8. I am hardly an expert but is there something about Alonso’s driving style
    that causes these issues? if it’s only his car and it’s followed him from team to team, that’s seems to be the only common factor.

    1. I do not know the numbers but it seems to me that this is the first season in which Alonso has blatantly worse reliability than his team mate. To me it does not seem driver related. In fact, in his ferrari and renault days, he was basically always finishing. The woeful McLarens struck down both drivers, not just Alonso.

      Despite seemingly quicker, especially in races, he will almost certainly finish behind his team mate in the standings. That frustrates him more than the DNF, I would suspect,
      Impressive driver though.

  9. Short answer – no.
    Button had same problems at McLaren /Honda

    1. Meant for Scotty

  10. Alonso is undoubtedly an excellent driver, but he’s toxic for whatever team he happens to find himself in. He has a point here, as he’s had 5 DNFs to Ocon’s 2, but calling out the manufacturer at the top motorsport in the world seems like yet another bridge burning.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      31st October 2022, 13:50

      @ruz234014 let’s cut the guy some slack. He deserves a better car and team.

    2. Alonso is toxic

      I disagree:

      He is one of the few drivers who has been invited back to the same team:

      Mclaren x 2
      Renault / alpine x 3

      Who else has done that? Yep

      Whatever else ALO is, many team managers are very keen to sign and re-sign him.

      1. He’s also on of the few drivers who actually tried to do that lol

  11. That’s how ALL of his other team mates felt during their time with him.


  12. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    31st October 2022, 13:49

    What vexes Alonso the most is that he’s behind Ocon when he feels he should be ahead and I think we’d all say that’s true today but 10 years from now people will just look at the numbers.

    He probably can’t catch him now and may lose the combined point comparison. I’m sure he wishes he could go back to Hungary 2021 and wave Lewis by.

    1. True. Which makes this all the more suspicious from alpine

  13. Don’t worry Fernando: next year, you will reach the chequered flag. In 12th position, but you’ll be at the end nevertheless. Meanwhile, Alpine will be fighting for 4th in the constructors, again.
    But hey, the pay is better at Aston Martin, so who cares?

  14. I don’t buy it. Vettel lost 3 wins in 2010 due to mechanical issues (Bahrain, Australia and Korea), also had some strange technical issue in Italy, but everybody remembers only Silverstone wing story and how Webber was “robbed” of championship by “number two” treatment. Meanwhile Webber had only two DNF thanks to his crash with Kovalainen in Spain and his own spun in Korea. Remember Silverstone 2011 when Webber was ordered not to pass Vettel but ignored it? What about Turkey 2009 when Vettel was told the same and maintained the gap. Multi 21? What about Multi 12 in Brazil 2012. Just like Webber Alonso is clearly playing a victim here.

  15. Engine failures and blatantly rotten strategies particularly in Canada and Japan have cost Alonso more points to Ocon. Ocon looks prettier on the points table this season due to factors outside of Alonso’s driving. That’s why Alonso is so frustrated.

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