Aston Martin were forced to retire Fernando Alonso’s car from the United States GP, but he was full of praise for his team’s efforts.
Alonso was one of four drivers to start the US Grand Prix from the pitlane, with Aston Martin having opted to break parc ferme conditions and change setups on their cars after a tough Sprint race on Saturday.
The gamble looked to be paying off during the Grand Prix, with Alonso fighting his way into the low points positions, until some damage he picked up on his car meant he was forced to retire from the race.
Fernando Alonso explains why Aston Martin retired his car
Having been wheeled back into the garage, Alonso clambered out of his car to speak to the media to explain what had gone wrong.
“[It’s] still under investigation,” he said.
“I think something on the floor underneath or the rear suspension or something. It’s a very bumpy track, very aggressive on kerbs.
“Initially I felt something on the suspension, so it was not safe anymore to run. It hurts, because when you start from the pit lane and you are in the points, maybe P8… Yeah, it was a good race from us with no reward.”
Alonso revealed that the target on his side of the garage had been to finish in eighth place, something which he was roughly on target to achieve at the point at which he retired.
Having had to contend with the disappointment of Friday and Saturday, the Spaniard was effusive in his praise for the team as Lance Stroll held on to take his first points finish since the Dutch Grand Prix.
“It was a tremendous race from Aston Martin today,” Alonso said.
“I started from the pit lane, [and we] probably [could have] both finished in the points – P8, P9, that was the target for the final stint. We felt faster than [in] the previous sessions this weekend here in Austin, so we have to learn.
“We did a lot of tests in the car between the Sprint and the race, and both cars [had a] different configuration as well, so we have to put all that data [on] the table and get to Mexico more prepared and with the best configuration possible.
“So zero points, it hurts, but nothing we can do; we concentrate on Mexico.”
Asked what caused the damage, Alonso replied: “Probably kerbs.”
Team boss Mike Krack elaborated on the issues when he spoke to the media afterward, saying: “The track is brutal here, it’s really, really very, very tough and there was one part of the floor – the floor edges on the right that is just broken off like half a metre in was just gone.”
Alonso still holds onto fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, 12 points clear of Carlos Sainz, while Aston Martin have slipped to fifth in the Constructors’ Championship, six points behind McLaren.