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A $2.6 part reason behind Fernando Alonso's crash during 2022 F1 Australian GP qualifying

It was a small $2.6 O-Ring that was responsible for Alonso's ruined Australian GP weekend
It was a small $2.6 O-Ring that was responsible for Alonso's ruined Australian GP weekend
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Charanjot Singh

Fernando Alonso had found something special in his Alpine at Melbourne. The Spanish driver was close to half a second quicker than his teammate during qualifying. On his Q3 lap, it appeared that Alonso was destined for a very good result, until he crashed.

It all turned sideways when the Alpine suffered a hydraulic failure and ended up in the gravel. After the race, Alpine boss Otmar Szaufner revealed it was a small O-ring that failed during qualifying. As it turns out, the part that was responsible for Fernando Alonso's race weekend turning upside down costs only €2 ($2.6).

Szafnauer said:

“It was an O-ring on an oil seal [worth $2.6]. The O-ring threaded, the oil leaked out. We have a failsafe mode that tried to save the engine, so when you see a drop in oil pressure, the failsafe mode kicks in and that’s what happened. So the fix was an O-ring change.”
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Szafnauer admitted that the weekend was a bit of an underachievement for the team. He claimed that the car had the potential for a much better result, especially for Fernando Alonso, who could have even fought for the podium. Szafnauer said:

“Had we qualified where we could’ve qualified, it would’ve been a totally different race for Fernando. He would’ve started on the mediums like everyone else around him, wouldn’t have been caught out by the safety car, would’ve had a good chance to fight with the top four guys. Because he was starting 10th with a quick car underneath him, the strategy was to get him on a hard early knowing that everyone else was going to be on a medium. The field opens up when they pit, and then the pace of the car was going to open up so he could fight with them.”

Before his crash, Alonso was on a flying lap that was on par with the teams at the front, or even better, as evidenced in the 2nd sector of the circuit.


Podium would have been a strong possibility, says Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso felt that a podium was not out of reach for the Spaniard at the Australian GP. According to him, the Alpine was much faster than the Mercedes throughout the weekend. Had it not been for the numerous unlucky moments, a podium was possible, especially with the Red Bull of Max Verstappen out of contention.

Reviewing his race, the Spaniard said:

“Speechless to be honest. It’s hard to accept that everything is going in the wrong way at the moment. The podium today would have been easy with Max [Verstappen] out. With George [Russell] on the podium, I think we were a lot faster than the Mercedes on this circuit. So we lost an opportunity.”
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It was the second weekend in a row where Alonso's race was compromised by bad luck. The same happened earlier at the Saudi Arabian GP as well where the Spaniard suffered a DNF. Alonso has just 2 points to his name this season and will be hoping for a turnaround soon.


Edited by Anurag C
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