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Russian Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso out of Russian GP before race starts

The Spaniard didn't make it to the grid as his McLaren Honda failed coming out of the pit lane. Alonso failed to finish in Australia, China and Bahrain.
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Fernando Alonso was out of the Russian GP before the race had started on Sunday as his troublesome McLaren Honda failed on his exit from the pit lanes in Sochi.

The Spanish double world champion said over the team radio during the formation lap that he was having problems with battery display in his cockpit and left his car at the pit lane exit while the rest of the drivers were lining up.

Alonso’s retirement forced a change in starting formation and saw the race reduced to 52 laps as the Spaniard saw another chance to get on the board evaporate after he failed to cross the line in Australia, China and Bahrain.

McLaren woes

It was the second race in a row that his struggling McLaren team have had just one car competing.

The Spaniard's Belgian rookie team mate Stoffel Vandoorne was absent from the grid in Bahrain two weeks ago due to a problem with the Honda power unit.

Alonso, who is due to race the Indianapolis 500 next month instead of the showcase Monaco Grand Prix, had qualified in 15th place in Sochi.

However, the car broke down on the formation lap at the pit lane entry, forcing the start to be aborted with the cars going around again as the unhappy Spaniard unbuckled himself and stepped out.

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Honda said Alonso's car had suffered a loss of power due to a suspected energy recovery issue in the hybrid unit.

Alonso: "I'm just a driver"

"It's obviously frustrating. Four races into the championship, four DNFs (non-finishes). This time we did not even make the start. That's sad but there's nothing we can do," Alonso told the BBC.

"I come here, drive as fast as I can to try and help the team. We just hope the next race will be better. I'm just a driver. I help the team but the team have to look at the bigger picture."


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