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Alonso laments early penalty

Monday 25-August-2014 13:50

Fernando Alonso believes his hopes of challenging for a podium at Spa went up in smoke before the race even started.

Having qualified P4 for the Belgian GP on Saturday, Alonso would have fancied his chances of finishing in the top three on Sunday, but things didn't go according to plan.

His mechanics discovered his F14T had a battery problem and it meant they were still working on the car when the 11-second signal to leave the grid was given.

"We had a problem with the electricity of the car, the power of the car, so I think we had to replace some kind of battery at the last minute because we could not fire the car - it was just stopped, with everything off," the Spaniard said. "We put in the extra battery, the portable they have on the grid, and everything was okay, but I think the battery in the car was just empty."

The two-time World Champion was handed a five-second stop-go penalty for the incident and it put paid to any hopes he had of challenging for the podium.

"I felt more or less competitive all race, although we knew that straight-line speed was our biggest problem," he said. "When you have a penalty and start fighting for lower positions that lack of speed has a higher price.

"The battery at the start was the biggest price to pay as, without that, I was in front of [Valtteri] Bottas when I had to stop and he finished third, so I could have been around those positions.

"I was happy with the strategy. I think [Kimi Raikkonen] had to anticipate to overtake cars in the first stop but, in my case, I had the penalty and, whatever lap I stopped, I would exit behind traffic, so my race was over there probably."

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