The Alpine team driver told Ice that the accident during Q3 left his thumbs sore, but insisted he would be fine for Sunday’s race.
Fernando Alonso was on a lap that could have earned him pole position when a hydraulic failure towards the end of the lap caused him to go off the circuit and hit a tire barrier.
As he gripped the wheel, his hands and thumbs received a strong jolt, causing a jerk that was highly visible Sunday in Albert Park during the drivers’ parade.
“I’m fine,” he said. “Obviously yesterday I held onto the steering wheel until the very last moment before the crash, to save the front wing. But at the time I had no power steering, we had nothing.
“My thumbs were stretched a lot, so now they hurt a little bit, but everything will be fine for the race.”
After qualifying, Alonso was convinced he could have taken pole, even tweeting a comparison of sector times between himself and Charles Leclerc, the Ferrari driver who took pole position.
“The gearbox wasn’t working anymore,” he said when asked after the session about the failure that stopped his car midway through a key lap.
“The engine also died, the power steering died. So I think there is something that we have to investigate when the car is back.”
“It’s unbelievable how unlucky we are, because 20 seconds later and maybe we would have been on pole if the car stopped at Turn 1 instead of Turn 11. These races are hard to explain.
Alonso did not set a lap time in Q3, so he will start from tenth position. He is hopeful that he will have the pace to progress, although ironically he pointed out that he will need the help of the track’s DRS zones, having successfully campaigned to have one removed for safety reasons.
“I hope so,” he said on Sunday when asked if he could take advantage of the car’s pace.
“We have to rely on the DRS zones today, and on the new track. But the car was fast yesterday, so why couldn’t it be fast again today?”