Fernando Alonso was left disappointed after getting caught up in the multi-car crash at the start of Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, believing he could have ended his Formula 1 podium drought had he stayed out of trouble.
Starting eighth on the grid, Alonso made a lightning start in greasy conditions after rain to run alongside the Red Bull and Ferrari cars at the front of the pack.
A clash between Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen was the main point of focus off the line, only for Alonso to get tagged in the aftermath.
After being clouted by Verstappen’s car, Alonso’s McLaren was popped into the air before coming down on its wheels, allowing him to continue.
A number of problems emerged as a result of the damaged sustained, though, forcing Alonso to ultimately retire from the race.
“The start was amazing. The car launched amazingly well,” Alonso told NBCSN after the race.
“I was in the wrong place at the wrong moment. Kimi and Verstappen crashed and it hit us.
“Arguably we could be leading the race because we were in front of [Lewis] Hamilton. Podium possibility missed.
“Hopefully we finish off the bad luck this year.”
Without a podium since 2014, McLaren has endured three difficult years with engine partner Honda, with Sunday’s race in Singapore appearing to be its best chance this season of a big haul of points.
Stoffel Vandoorne did give the team some solace, taking his best F1 result in seventh to increase its constructors’ total to 17 points for the season. McLaren executive director Zak Brown also joined the show twice; his first interview is below.