Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc claimed his second victory of the season within the first two races of the 2022 Formula One Career. The Monagesque started the race in Pole Position ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Mercedes rookie George Russell. But had his fortunes favoured him, Fernando Alonso would have tasted champagne in the 2022 Australian GP.
Fernando suffered a crash at turn 11 during Q3 while on his flying lap. The Spaniard was unable to shift down his gears to reduce his speed. Following the incident in Q3, the team investigated the issue this morning. Small damage to an oil ring was found, which led to the car cutting out mid-corner during Fernando’s Qualifying lap.
Fernando who was showing great pace until that time said the team lost a “lost an opportunity” to claim their first podium of the season. And all because of a faulty ‘O-Ring’ on an oil seal which cost less than £1.
Fernando Alonso finished P17 in the 2022 Australian GP
Fernando Alonso was blazing past the midfield during the Qualifying sessions. He made it to Q3 and briefly set the second-fastest lap time of the session in Q2. Alonso was seemingly stuck in fourth gear as he approached Turn 11 in Q3 and crashed while attempting the corner.
Alpine Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer replied, “It was an o-ring on an oil seal, the o-ring threaded and 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.”
He added, “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.”
Alonso started the race P10 but his team could not get the right strategy for the Spaniard. Added to that, the two Safety car periods meant that he was at a disadvantage with respect to tyre strategy. The Spaniard went from P11 to P15 in the last 7 laps of the race and finally finished P17 with no points to his name. Esteban Ocon scored the only points for Alpine with a P7 finish.