Alonso anticipating hardest qualifying of 2014 in Abu Dhabi


ABU DHABI – Fernando Alonso’s final Friday as a Ferrari driver came to an early end in Abu Dhabi today as an electrical failure on his car limited him to just two laps in FP2 at Yas Marina.

Ferrari confirmed on Thursday that Alonso would be leaving the team after five years, making way for four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel who joins for 2015. The Spaniard is expected to return to McLaren, where he spent one turbulent year in 2007.

After finishing third in FP1 on Friday, Alonso was looking to follow up this good start to the race weekend by following home the dominant Mercedes drivers once again in FP2, only for his Ferrari to ground to a halt in the final sector on his second lap of the session.

The F14 T’s shutdown forced Alonso to hop out of his car and return to the paddock on foot, and means that he will head into the rest of the weekend without having completed a long run in conditions that are similar to what we will see in the race.

“It was a real shame losing the opportunity to take part in the second free practice session here at Yas Marina, as it’s the only chance to get an idea of how things will really go this weekend,” Alonso said. “On my second lap, the car just stopped unexpectedly and even though the marshals did their best to push the car back to the pits in time to get it back out on track, the work took the mechanics longer than expected.”

Taking to Twitter, Alonso predicted that tomorrow’s qualifying session will be the toughest of the season, given that he also needs to look after his engine for the final double points race of the season.

Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished 12th in FP1 and seventh in FP2, suggesting that all is not yet lost for the Italian team at this weekend’s race.