Fernando Alonso’s Malaysian Grand Prix ended after just one lap as a gamble from the Spaniard failed to pay off.
Off the start, Alonso tucked in behind Sebastian Vettel despite facing pressure from his teammate Felipe Massa, and the second Red Bull of Mark Webber. Slight contact was made, causing damage to a portion of Alonso’s front wing. He was however able to continue, and he remained in P2 as the drivers completed their first lap.
However, the Ferrari came under pressure from Webber heading into the first corner, and Alonso’s front wing went under his F138. This caused the car to lose control, spearing off into the gravel where Alonso’s rear wheels became beached, ending his race.
Towards the end of the first lap, many expected Alonso to pit for fresh tires and a new front wing, but he decided to continue, most probably until the track dried out allowing for slick tires. This would have saved Alonso an extra pit stop, but in hindsight, the option to pit was definitely the right one.
Unsurprisingly, Alonso returned to the pit lane with his helmet still on, refusing to talk to the media until later in the day.
EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.
As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.
NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.
Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.
So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads
Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.
MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.
MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup
MORE: Stage 13 wrapup
MORE: Stage 12 wrapup
MORE: Stage 11 wrapup
MORE: Stage 10 wrapup
MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions
MORE: Stage 8 wrapup
MORE: Stage 7 wrapup
MORE: Stage 6 wrapup
MORE: Stage 5 wrapup
MORE: Stage 4 wrapup
MORE: Stage 3 wrapup
MORE: Stage 2 wrapup
MORE: Stage 1 wrapup