Fernando Alonso has the dubious honour of being the first, but most definitely not the last driver, to take an engine penalty with Alpine putting him onto his fourth PU in Spain.
He will start his home race from the very back of the grid, as confirmed to PlanetF1 from Alpine with the following statement:
‘Fernando will start today’s Spanish Grand Prix from the back of the grid as a result of an engine change. It will be his fourth power-unit of the season incurring a grid penalty.’
Alonso qualified a lowly P17 for the Spanish Grand Prix, the Alpine driver one of several caught out in the traffic in Q1.
In what has become a traditional mad dash in the final few minutes of Q1, there were 55 separate incidents throughout qualifying of drivers slowing in the pit exit to build up a gap to the car ahead.
That meant there was a traffic jam as those behind tried to get track position for a final flying lap.
Alonso even tried to overtake cars ahead in the queue only to be blocked, not illegally as he wasn’t on a hot lap, by Lando Norris.
Buenos días amigos.
Race day in Spain today
Alonso will be starting from the back of the grid after the team decided to change his PU. pic.twitter.com/HUxq2SzzrV
— EngineMode11 (@EngineMode11) May 22, 2022
As such Alpine have opted to fit his A522 with a new engine, the Spaniard’s grid position minimising the 10-place grid penalty.
He’ll join Nicholas Latifi on the final row with Alex Albon up to P18 and Lance Stroll starting 17th.
Although he told Sky Sports after qualifying that “at Barcelona if you start at the back, everything becomes more difficult”, the double World Champion still hopes for what he concedes is an unlikely top-ten showing.
“There is not much you can do,” he added. “This is Barcelona, not much overtaking, a lot of tyre degradation when you run behind cars. So let’s see.
“The last couple of races, people started at the back, they got very lucky and they scored points. I’m one of those.
“So if I have one of those mega fantastic Safety Cars in the right moment, maybe I get lucky and I take a couple of points, but I doubt it. I think it’s going to be difficult race.”
Alonso has scored just two points this season, the driver down in 16th place in the standings.
Will Alonso’s luck change at Alpine?
Fernando Alonso heads back to his home race in need of a bit of luck with Alpine this weekend.