“It was amazing,” Fernando Alonso sums up his reliability issues in 2022 with a sarcastic remark
2022 was a frustrating year for Fernando Alonso, and to add to that, he was not really feeling the love at Alpine, which led him to move away to Aston Martin, replacing the retiring Sebastian Vettel. While not feeling love from the team is one thing, he also clearly felt that he bore the brunt of Alpine’s reliability issues, as evidenced by his numerous statements.
Five of his six (the joint most on the grid) retirements this year came from mechanical failures (except Imola, where he was clattered into by Mick Schumacher), and there were even problems in some races that he did not retire in, such as in Austria, where he didn’t start the sprint, then had ‘vibrations’ after his pit stop during the race, forcing him to pit again. Alonso clearly delivered, but luck was often not on his side.
While Esteban Ocon was not free of reliability issues – Both of his retirements came from mechanical failures (apart from other non-terminal issues), Alonso’s reliability was clearly worse. As reported by The Mirror, after all his bad fortune this year, the Spaniard joked that in 2023, his luck will take a turn for the better: “After ’22, I will have massive luck next year on everything – it has been amazing this year.”
Alonso further detailed how he had issues in almost 50 percent of the races: “I know there were a lot of talks after Mexico – five DNFs this year with engine issues – but there are another four races that I finished all without a battery, or the car didn’t start in Austria, or I lost one wheel in the pit stop. It was amazing. Twenty races, and to have problems in nine or something, it’s nearly 50 percent of the races.”
Fernando Alonso believes he would have been ‘best of the rest’ without reliability issues
It’s hard to compute exactly how many points Fernando Alonso lost through his reliability problems in 2022, but safe to say, they would have made a difference in his championship position. The lost points would have almost certainly bridged the 11-point gap to Esteban Ocon, and the two-time world champion could have possibly challenged Lando Norris for the ‘best of the rest’ moniker.
Alonso himself believes that he would have outright been clear of every other midfield runner (any driver outside of the top three teams), and by quite a large margin as well: “I should be 60 points ahead of any other midfield driver this year.”
Aston Martin made good progress in development throughout 2022, and they are likely to be in the midfield fight right from the start of the season this time around. Alonso will look to lead the charge for them and then would surely hope that progress is quick so that he can have a chance to fight for race wins again in the future.