Fernando Alonso says that he forgot about his rib injury during Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix as he finished 12th in his comeback race for McLaren.
Alonso was forced to miss the last race in Bahrain on medical grounds after sustaining a fractured rib and a small lung collapse in a crash at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The Spaniard was declared fit by the FIA doctors in China, allowing him to finish 12th in Shanghai on Sunday as McLaren struggled for race pace.
Alonso reported earlier in the weekend that he was still dealing with a little bit of pain due to his fractured rib when in the car, but told NBCSN that it was not on his mind during the race.
“To be honest I felt a little bit worse today,” Alonso admitted.
“When I went to the grid, on the laps to the grid, I had a little bit more pain than the last couple of days, so I was a little bit worried on the formation lap.
“But then only now jumping out of the car I reminded myself about the rib.
“When I was in the race, I don’t know if it was the adrenaline, the competition, whatever – I forgot completely.”
Alonso felt disappointed not to have qualified inside the top 10 on Saturday, but admitted that McLaren lacked the race pace to score any points in China.
“Not totally happy obviously. We were expecting a little bit more, we were expecting to be in the points, but we didn’t have the pace today,” Alonso said.
“I think the safety car didn’t help. We chose to start with the prime tire and run a little bit longer, but that benefit was cancelled after the safety car because they were behind our rear wing immediately.
“To be honest, after the safety car we didn’t have the pace either to open the gaps, so we need to look at that.
“On the positive side, both cars finished the race so reliability keeps improving.”