Fernando Alonso claims that Alpine's fight with McLaren could stretch to the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi. So far, the two teams have been in a fierce battle to secure P4 in the constructors' championship.
Speaking to the media, including Sportskeeda, during Thursday's press conference for the 2022 F1 Japanese GP, Alonso reflected on the McLaren-Alpine battle. He said:
“I think there’s going to be some weekends that we can score a few more points than them. Some others, we will score less. I think Singapore was standing out because it was a big loss in points there. But I think it’s going to be very, very tight until Abu Dhabi.”
The Enstone-based outfit faced a double DNF during the 2022 F1 Singapore GP. To make matters worse, rivals McLaren managed a double-points finish, outscoring Alpine by four points. Post-race, the French team's boss told the media, including Sportskeeda, that:
“A pity as we’ve been very competitive all weekend. In terms of the progress of our race, it was challenging with the drying conditions and we were about to enter a window where we could have made the call for dry tyres before our retirements. These days happen in racing from time to time and while it’s a disappointing feeling within the team now, we have another race next weekend in Japan where we have the opportunity to recover.”
The 2022 F1 Singapore GP was a special race for Fernando Alonso. It was the Spaniard's 350th start in F1, making him the first driver to reach this milestone. The race, however, was also his second consecutive DNF in a row and his fourth of the season so far.
Fernando Alonso believes he would've been close to Mercedes if not for the DNFs
Fernando Alonso has criticized his car's unreliability throughout the 2022 F1 season. The two-time world champion pointed out that he has lost many points owing to the mechanical DNFs.
The driver defined his finishing rate this season as "unacceptable" while speaking to Motorsport and explained:
“If you put me 60 points more in the standings, and you reduce 10 or something to the others because you would take points from those as well, my championship will look much better and close even to Mercedes. So that is probably more accurate of the performance that we are putting this year, which I’m very proud of.”
Fernando Alonso also revealed that his denial to take on the new power unit in earlier races was not necessarily the reason behind his latest retirement. The driver, however, did admit that he might take on a newer unit sometime soon.