Fernando Alonso defended the decision not to change his damaged front wing which led to his retirement from the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Alonso broke his front wing on the first lap of the race by hitting Sebastian Vettel’s car: “We were very unlucky,” he said. “After making a good start, I touched with Vettel at the second corner. It was a surprise to find him there, almost stopped and I don?óÔé¼Ôäót know what speed he was doing.”
He admitted the decision not to change the front wing was taken as he and the team wanted to wait until the track had begun to dry and he could use the pit stop to change to slick tyres as well:
“Despite the fact the car was damaged, it didn?óÔé¼Ôäót seem to be too bad and, together with the team, we decided to keep going, because if we?óÔé¼Ôäód stopped immediately and then again on lap three or four to fit dry tyres, we would have dropped too far back and definitely lost the chance to finish up the front.”
But the wing failed almost immediately after he passed the pit entrance, sending him skidding into a gravel trap. “It?óÔé¼Ôäós easy to criticise this decision, but at the time it seemed like the right one,” said Alonso.
“It was certainly a shame, because here we could have fought with the Red Bulls, but circumstances didn?óÔé¼Ôäót help and apart from the wisdom of the decisions we took, bad luck really played its part, when you think how many off-track excursions there were in Australia without any consequence and even here when the cars first went out on track.
“Now we are already focusing on the coming races in China and Bahrain, where we hope to do better than last year, so that we arrive in Europe with as many points as possible.”
Team mate Felipe Massa was held up behind Alonso in the first corners and finished fifth. Team principal Stefano Domenicali said the result left a “bitter taste” after his cars lined up second and third on the grid.
2013 Malaysian Grand Prix
- Horner: Vettel and Webber have a “healthy rivalry”
- Webber wins Malaysian GP Driver of the Weekend
- Red Bull gives up on team orders as Vettel admits he would defy them again
- Malaysia retirement no concern for Alonso
- Massa: Red Bull’s team orders not “intelligent”
Image ?é?® Ferrari/Ercole Colombo