Alpine urgently trying to fix reliability issue

Fernando Alonso retired from his 350th Grand Prix at the Singapore GP.

The Singapore Grand Prix was the Alpine F1 Team’s first double-retirement of the season, after Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon both suffered from what looks set to be a “similar” power unit failure.

Whilst the race was already looking fairly miserable for Ocon after qualifying P18, Alonso had been having a brilliant weekend up to the point of his retirement on Lap 21.

The 41-year-old qualified fifth on his 350th GP and ran in sixth place for the opening stint of the race after dropping behind Lando Norris.

Alonso was looking comfortable in the top six, but suddenly pulled off the circuit after suffering a sudden loss of power, which has since been put down to a power unit failure.

READ: Charles Leclerc baffled after incident with Red Bull fans

It was a saddening end to what was looking set to be a solid weekend for the oldest driver on the grid; however, his DNF means he’s now retired from the last two races.

After the race, team principal Otmar Szafnauer revealed that it was a “power unit” issue that ended both of their drivers’ races, adding that a “preventative measure” needs to be put in place before this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

“Unfortunately we had a double retirement which is a pity as we’ve been very competitive all weekend,” he said.

“It looks like we suffered a similar power unit issue on both cars, which we will investigate in detail. It’s important that we identify the root cause of what happened and put preventative measures in place to avoid a repeat.”

Article continues below

The double-DNF the Enstone-based team suffered has proven to have been dramatically costly, as after holding fourth in the Constructors’ Standings for a few rounds, they’ve now slipped back behind McLaren.

Lando Norris ended up finishing fourth at the Marina Bay Circuit, whilst Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth despite having started P15.

READ: George Russell is ‘world champion material’, Lewis Hamilton wants him to succeed

It was the team’s first double top five finish of the season, as well as Ricciardo’s first top five of the year.

The 22 points scored by the Woking-based outfit saw them claw back the 18-point deficit to Alpine, with the papaya-side now occupying fourth in the Constructors’ Championship by a slim four points.

With five races remaining and the realistic possibility of a grid penalty for both Alonso and Ocon should power unit components need changing, the pressure is suddenly on the French side to get their act together.