Alonso: It’s probably the biggest smile for a fourth position in my career

Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday 28 March 2014.

Fernando Alonso, a three time winner in Malaysia, was happy with fourth place on the starting grid on Saturday after steering his battered Ferrari through the rain.

The double Formula One world champion, winner of 32 races in his career, felt fortunate just to be on the second row after earlier colliding with Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso.

The crash in the second phase brought out a red flag and looked like it could be the end of Qualifying for the Spaniard but his team managed to fix a broken left steering arm on his car in under five minutes and get him back on the track.

“I’m so happy with this Qualifying, it’s probably the biggest smile for a fourth position in my career,” Alonso told reporters.

“It was so chaotic, especially at the end with a car that was damaged.

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“In the right hand corners I could move the steering wheel with one finger and in the lefts I could not even move it with two hands. In wet conditions was not the easiest way to drive the car.

“We managed to put the car out on the track to complete the laps and those laps were enough for fourth so we need to be very happy.”

The incident with Russian rookie Kvyat was investigated by stewards after the Spaniard turned into the Toro Rosso driver who appeared to lock his wheels and slide into Alonso.

The ever increasing rain had made visibility difficult in the final stages on Saturday with Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes holding on for pole despite abandoning a final flying lap because he couldn’t see in his mirrors.

Alonso said he that didn’t see Kvyat, who qualified 11th, and the two shook hands after the incident.

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“Obviously it was an unfortunate situation, wrong place at the wrong moment,” said Alonso.

“I didn’t see him, that’s the truth. I turned in and I only felt the hit, I didn’t even see him before he hit my car.

“I didn’t see a replay so I don’t know where he was coming from, if he was late braking I don’t know. For sure it was a surprise on the out-lap with these visibility conditions to have these kind of attacks.”

The rain played havoc with Alonso’s Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen, who had showed good pace in the three dry Free Practice sessions on Friday and Saturday.

The Finn, though, struggled in the wet qualifying sessions and could be heard complaining about being given the wrong Intermediate tyres as the rain became heavier as he only managed to qualify in sixth. (Reuters)

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  • symanski

    I’m sure if Alonso had given Kvyat a true car width in the corner there would have been no contact at all. The way Alonso turned in it, leaving a huge gap any racing driver has an obligation to occupy, it was certainly his fault. Once again it’s a mystery how he gets away with these incidents.

  • LePaul

    You do realize that this was an out lap in Q2, right? A lap where, especially in such difficult conditions, people don’t exactly perform such risky moves, and that Kvyat locked his wheels and crashed into Alonso. Could the crash be avoided if Alonso saw Kvyat? Most likely, yes. But the visibility was very poor in these conditions and it was an out lap for everyone..

  • Rubén Blanco

    It wasn’t taken further action with Alonso because both drivers were able to get back to the track without mayor problems, and Alonso’s car was damaged in a critical place. Even though it wasn’t his fault he pays for it, so it’s
    fair to say that he deserved not to have been found guilty. That’s all,
    this is racing.
    Needless to say he overwhelmed Raikkonen with a broken piece of his suspension and with such conditions is worthy of mention. Taken into account Raikkonen was faster than him throughout free practice P1,P2 and P3.
    Maybe things would be very different if Alonso had broken some critical part of kvyat’s car that he was unable to get back to the track.
    And very good job of Ferrari’s mechanics crew as always.
    However this is very long run and there is nothing for granted.

  • symanski

    Alonso went exceptionally wide at that corner, but didn’t allow a full car width. Kvyat only locked the unloaded wheel that was on the kerb. If Alonso had allowed a car width there would have been no contact. I looked at the incident several times in slow motion just to be sure.

  • Amos James

    I assume u don’t know much about motor sports, symanski?

  • symanski

    Enough to know the rule about leaving enough space for the other car.

  • LePaul

    If Kvyat hadn’t locked his wheels, they wouldn’t have crashed. If Alonso saw him earlier, they wouldn’t have crashed. Why did Kvyat lock his wheels? Due to poor conditions (bad grip). Why didn’t Alonso see Kvyat earlier? Due to poor conditions (water spray).
    Who was in front? Alonso. It was an out lap for everyone and especially then it’s the responsibility of the one who’s behind to look out what the one in front is doing.
    IF Kvyat wanted to overtake Alonso, he could easily have done it on the straight (seeing how it was an out lap and no one was taking any risk and wasn’t driving full throttle anyway). Even if Alonso left another metre of space, Kvyat would have still slid in Alonso. Again, I stress that Kvyat was the one behind. Do I think Kvyat deserves a penalty? No, he doesn’t. But Alonso doesn’t either. It was just bad luck for both of them, but luckily it didn’t have any serious consequence for none of the drivers.

  • Amos James

    You’re special. Do you have to wear a helmet 24 hours a day?