Scuderia Ferrari’s hopes of finishing third in the 2014 constructors’ championship took a serious hit in the Japanese Grand Prix yesterday as the team endured its first point-less race weekend in over four years.
Fernando Alonso had qualified fifth at Suzuka on Saturday, but was forced to retire from the race following an electrical failure on his car at the restart of the race on lap three.
Due to wet weather, officials suspended proceedings after just two laps before restarting the race 20 minutes later. However, Alonso’s car came to a halt just three corners later, and he was disappointed to lose the chance to race.
“It was a real shame losing the opportunity to take part in this race because, with nothing to lose in terms of the championship, I could have taken a few more risks and maybe aimed for the podium,” Alonso said. “I still don’t know what caused the unfortunate technical problem, only that suddenly, the car lost all its electrics, maybe down to a short circuit caused by the rain.”
Teammate Kimi Raikkonen was eventually classified in 12th place, one lap down on race winner Lewis Hamilton.
This result brings to an end Ferrari’s record run of 81 consecutive races in the points, and, with Williams’ drivers finishing sixth and seventh, the British team’s advantage in the race for third place in the constructors’ has grown to 23 points.
Proceedings at Suzuka were overshadowed by the news that Jules Bianchi had sustained severe head injuries in an accident at the end of the grand prix. He remains in a critical condition at Mie General Hospital.