Alonso reckons podium finish was possible
17 September 2017 – McLaren-Honda's Fernando Alonso reckons a podium finish was possible in the Singapore Grand Prix, had he escaped the first-lap drama at Marina Bay.
Alonso jumped up the order from eighth on the grid but was the innocent victim as Red Bull's Max Verstappen and the Ferrari drivers clashed on the run to Turn 1.
Sebastian Vettel moved over on Verstappen after a poor start, while Räikkönen shot up the inside, and as the trio bunched together, Verstappen and Räikkönen collided.
Räikkönen, having been pitched into Vettel, slid out-of-control towards Turn 1, where he made secondary contact with Verstappen, who then hit Alonso.
Alonso continued for several laps, but ultimately retired due to the extent of the damage.
"Today was the day; the first podium for the team was a clear target," he posted on Instagram.
"The car launch like a rocket and we could be running P2 in the first lap but we found ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong moment after Räikkönen and Verstappen had their contact.
"Thanks to the team for the superb effort all weekend and hope for better luck in Sepang."
Alonso later expanded on the start melee from his cockpit.
"The car did an amazing launch and I managed to gain several positions, up to third place, but after that we were in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said.
"I wasn't aware of what was happening on the inside, all I know is that at Turn 1 some cars crashed and hit us. In that situation, you are just a passenger, there's nothing you can do.
"Unfortunately, that hit was too much for our car.
"From the cockpit you don't understand how much damage there is, but the car didn't feel great.
"It had a lot of oversteer, so I asked the team what was the damage but they were not completely sure because they'd lost the telemetry.
"At the end, we had some electrical problems and we had to stop."
Stoffel Vandoorne finished seventh in the other MCL32.