It all started so well, but ultimately Alonso’s highly anticipated return to the sport went up in flames.
One of Formula One’s most recognised and famous names returned to the sport for 2021 with Alpine, Fernando Alonso.
His first race with the newly branded French team didn’t come to the conclusion the 39-year old Spaniard would have predicted.
Lap 34 (22 before the finish), proved the fatal blow for the two-time world champion as he pulled his red-hot Alpine into its pit box. The rear brake ducts clogged with debris proved to be the culprit of his premature retirement.
Alonso’s Engineer sheepishly came on the radio and told the Spaniard that he would have to retire the car immediately after Alonso reported the lack of brake power.
Alonso’s response was calm and without a hint of annoyance suggesting he had been struggling with the brakes for at least a few laps and was expecting the call to come in.
Alpine’s apparent number one driver was running in fourteenth at the time he was called in for retirement, having dropped out of the top ten places in the few laps he was fighting with his white-hot brakes.
Teammate Esteban Ocon managed to push his car right to the end of the race despite having severe contact with 4 time World Champion Sebastian Vettel in his Aston Martin on lap forty-six, resulting in both cars facing the wrong way down the pit straight.
Vettel was handed a 10-second penalty for causing a collision.