Published: Wed, May 17, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Alonso says he had 'nothing to lose' at race start

Fernando Alonso said on Thursday he will get to keep the Indianapolis 500 vehicle that he races in later this month to add to his musem collection.

Alonso finished 1.9 seconds slower than pole victor Lewis Hamilton, but he defied expectations by beating out all the other teams that can't compete with Hamilton's Mercedes and challengers Ferrari and Red Bull.

But his race immediately went awry when a brush with Massa at the first corner sent him through the gravel and down to 11th.

Fernando Alonso is not ruling out staying at McLaren beyond the end of his 2017 contract.

Alonso returned to the circuit for the day's second running, but he was the slowest of all the 20 runners and completed the fewest laps.

The Spaniard lapped 1.899s off Lewis Hamilton's Barcelona pole position time to match the best qualifying position of his second stint at McLaren even though he lost all of Friday's first free practice session to an engine failure. The F1 race will be held on Sunday.

"I think you're not going to learn a lot by watching other cars go around so obviously he wanted to get rid of some energy, built-up energy, so no I don't have any issue with that".

As for his hopes in Sunday's race, he said merely that he wants to do better than he did in Sochi, where he failed to start, adding that he hoped Sunday's contest would mark the start of an upturn in fortunes for the team.

At the same time the driver who replaced him at Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel, now leads the 2017 World Championship. We've given him a great environment, he really enjoys it here - we've got to give him a winning auto. "But I wasn't happy. I don't know the reason why the oil leaked, but that is the reason why it blew". "It was tricky for us", Hamilton said. I think he's gone all right today, all things considered he's done an exceptional job.

"Maybe it's a bit more than that". Collectively, McLaren's Honda F1 power unit has moved beyond mere "letdown" status into a full-on disaster, but he does appreciate all the work they do to try to get it to work. "Going from corner to corner the vehicle felt different".

That's for the forensic technical writers to glean over the course of the weekend, and for the TAG Heuer timing clocks to determine in the practice and qualifying sessions leading up to the race.

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