Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Yas Marina, 2022

Alonso “didn’t want to attack” Vettel in first laps, before retiring again

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso said he held back from attacking Sebastian Vettel early in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, before retiring from the race.

“I didn’t want to attack Seb,” said Alonso, who will replace Vettel at Aston Martin next year. “I just wanted to do a few laps behind him and enjoy.”

Alonso ran 10th in the opening stages of the race until he made his first pit stop. He had just returned to 10th place when he came into the pits to retire. His team said they suspected a water leak had developed in his car.

“Unfortunately another engine problem,” Alonso told media including RaceFans afterwards. “So it has been a little bit the summary of the year. Unfortunately on car 14, always these things happen, so one more.”

He said he was “happy to finish this chapter” with Alpine “and start with new motivation tomorrow morning with Aston.”

“The project is amazing what they are doing in terms of recruiting people, facilities, investment. So I think good times are coming so I cannot wait for next year.”

Alpine’s reliability has been unacceptably poor this season, said Alonso. “There are facts that this year they’ve been against us a bit in car 14,” he said. “Six DNFs [did not finish].

“But also [some that] didn’t count as a DNF but they were DNF, like Australia in qualifying the problem, the sprint race in Austria I didn’t even start the race and things like that.

“So I think there are nine or 10 reliability [problems] which at this level is already not acceptable and they all happened to my car. So I’m happy to finish and start tomorrow the seat fit with Aston, Tuesday the tyre test and hopefully a new project with more luck.”

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2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Author information

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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11 comments on “Alonso “didn’t want to attack” Vettel in first laps, before retiring again”

  1. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    20th November 2022, 15:47

    I hope Alonso has a much better season with Aston than he’s had with Alpine. It’s just been a shambles for him the majority of this season.

    1. Not by any fault of his own. He’s driven brilliantly.

  2. Alonso is right of course, even if he brings it in his classic conspiratorial way as though someone was out to deliberatley put all the bad parts on his car.

    It’s been really hard to figure out what Renault is doing with this F1 team. They’re seemingly not really making the big investments to be competitive at the front, but at the same time even running a midfield team isn’t cheap either while the marketing returns must be pretty mediocre – even more so with them running as Alpine.

  3. Alonso has been sabotaged by Alpine on Laurent Rossi’s orders all year long. History has shown worse parts end up in cars used by drivers who aren’t meant to succeed for one reason or another – Barrichello at Ferrari, Hamilton in 2016, Kubica at Williams, Bottas at Mercedes and now Alonso at Alpine, just to name few examples from this century. Don’t even think for a second teams want both their drivers to perform at their best. F1 isn’t any different than your typical corporation, with office politics, backstabbing, favouritism and so on. Alonso at Alpine is yet another chapter in that book.

    1. Do you think red bull wanted ricciardo to win in 2017 and verstappen in 2018, based on the reliability issues the other one had in those years?

  4. I bet (and hope) Aston Martin will finish higher than Alpine next year. The next year is the last year for Alonso when he still can show something on the racetrack. But that’s it. Hopefully, he’ll get one podium in unusual circumstances.

  5. Could be a knock-on effect from not having any PU customer teams. So much less data

    1. They should hire a plumber thought.

  6. I think Renault know the relationship between reliability and performance of their PU pretty well.
    Finding themselves in a close fight with an underdeveloped McLaren, they just rolled the dice on turning to up the wick. Probably better than depressingly falling behind in every matchup – even for Nando.

    1. They said they did, yes, but the difference compared to ocon is crazy with the reliability issues.

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