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F1 | SPAIN GRAND PRIX

"The team decided I had to stay behind so that’s where I stayed”

Fernando Alonso was not a happy man after quitting the Spanish Grand Prix when in 12th place: " I was quite a bit faster, but that’s the way it is.”

"The team decided I had to stay behind so that’s where I stayed”
Andreu Dalmau EFE

Angry, disappointed and disillusioned. That is how Fernando Alonso felt after finding himself incapable of putting in a good performance in his home Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Sunday. The reason? Firstly because he was unable to produce his fastest drive because McLaren believed that the driver who ended up in front after the first lap was the driver who would stay there. And that is what got Alonso’s goat: “I didn’t get off to a good start, I ended up behind my teammate [Jenson Button] for the entire race and that was that. I was quite a bit faster, but that’s the way it is.”

Alonso eventually had to abandon the race when in 12th place due to a loss of power in his engine. “The issue with the tyres wasn’t a difficult one but the team decided I had to stay behind and so that’s where I stayed. Then I lost power. At the end of the day we didn’t lose much. It was a complicated race and there was nothing I could do, so I’m disappointed I couldn’t show the speed I had in the race. A bad start sentenced my race and then I followed Jenson for 50 laps and that was the end of my race, at the first corner.”

Given the way the race was panning out, it was even harder for Alonso to swallow: “With the two Mercedes out it was always going to be an opportunity to win some points, but we let it slip.”

Max Verstappen won the race, becoming the youngest driver ever to claim victory in a Grand Prix. The 18-year-old Red Bull driver reached the chequered flag ahead of the Ferraris of Kimi Raikonnen and Sebastian Vettel to also become the first Dutchman in history to win a Grand Prix. It was Red Bull's first win since the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix and first without Vettel in the team.

Nico Rosberg still leads the driver’s championship after winning the first seven races of the season despite a collision with his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton on the first lap that took both drivers out of the race. Raikonnen is second and reigning world champion Hamilton third.