Fernando Alonso believes that his failure to finish in the Hungarian Grand Prix cost him a podium place.
The Spaniard started well and led into the first corner. However from lap two onwards his Renault was subjected to a fuel pump problem, preventing the former double-World Champion from extending his lead at the front.
A botched pitstop, whereby the right-front tyre was not properly fixed onto the car, also played havoc with Alonso’s race, with the wheel eventually dislodging itself from the car and onto the circuit.
Meanwhile, Nelson Piquet’s Renault future remains ever questionable as the Brazilian could only manage twelfth place.
Fernando Alonso – DNF: “Today we missed an opportunity to finish on the podium. I made a good start and the car was quick during my first stint, but then we had a problem at my first stop fitting the right front wheel to the car. When I left the pits there was a lot of vibration and it felt like I had a puncture, but then a few corners later the wheel flew off my car.
“I made it back to the pits to replace it, but then the problem I’d had with my fuel pump since lap two returned and started to get worse so we had to retire the car. It’s a shame that we missed this chance, but these things happen in racing and I’m trying to look on the bright side because we saw this weekend that the car is very competitive. I’m now looking ahead to the next race in Valencia, where I hope we can build on the promise we have shown.”
Nelson Piquet – 12th: “I made a very good start and managed to overtake several cars, but then I was always stuck behind somebody, which didn’t help my race. I was also a bit unlucky with the strategy and I think my race would have worked out a lot better if I had been in some clean air. The car was good today and I’m glad that I benefited from the new updates this weekend.”
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: “It’s a very disappointing end to a weekend that started with a lot of promise. From around lap two, Fernando had a failure on the fuel pump and we had to try and control the problem manually, which cost us a lot of time. We stopped early because of that and then unfortunately we had a problem with the wheel fitting. Ultimately we retired the car because of the fuel pump problem. Nelson was always going to have a difficult afternoon and he pushed through to finish the race, but he wasn’t in a position to score any points.”
Remi Taffin, Head of Engine Operations: “Fernando made a good start, probably his best of the year and he had good pace in the early laps so we were hopeful of a good result and aiming for a podium. Unfortunately a technical problem ended his race. It’s frustrating, but once again we have demonstrated the progress that we have made recently as this is only the second race where we have benefited from the new developments. Our attention now turns towards the European Grand Prix where we hope to convert our potential into a good result.”