• Malaysian Grand Prix

Alonso bemoans 'hardest race' of his life

ESPNF1 Staff
April 4, 2010 « Vettel ecstatic to take first win of 2010 | »
Fernando Alonso battled with an ailing Ferrari © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso said the Malaysian Grand Prix had been probably the hardest race of his life after the Spaniard battled with a gearbox problem before retiring one lap from the end.

"From the start things went wrong," Alonso told Spanish television. "On the formation lap my gearbox broke and I had no clutch during the race, so I had to brake in a weird way. I had to first gear down and then push the throttle hard so it would engage the gear for that corner.

Despite the problems that made driving the car a titanic struggle, Alonso fought hard with Jenson Button's McLaren for eighth place before an engine failure ended his race.

"It was probably the hardest race of my whole life in terms of driving, because I had to improvise for every corner. But even so we were going to get a few points, which in the end was not possible because of the engine.

"But if the gearbox and then the engine are going to break, it's better than in happens when you are ninth than when you are leading and you lose 25 points."

The result means that Alonso is now tied for second place with race winner Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' standings, the pair two points behind Felipe Massa.