Szafnauer reveals $2 part malfunction that cost Alonso potential podium finish at Australian GP

It is often said that success and failure is decided by the smallest of margins in sport. Alpine driver Fernando Alonso felt the full brunt of this at the recently concluded Australian Grand Prix.

A hydraulic failure had forced Alonso to crash into the barriers in the latter stages of his race at Albert Park.

Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer was certain that the failure had been caused by an oil seal’s faulty o-ring.

The Race has estimated the cost of this part to be £1.50 (approx $2).

“The o-ring threaded, the oil leaked out,” Szafnauer said.

“We have a failsafe mode that tried to save the engine, so when you see a drop in oil pressure, the failsafe mode kicks in and that’s what happened.”

Alonso vents his frustrations

Alonso had said in an interview prior to this that he expected to finish the session in pole position had this untimely malfunction not come about.

Had this claim come to fruition, Alonso would have helped his team fight for its first podium in Australia since Vitaly Petrov, who came third with Renault in 2011.

As things panned out, Alonso was left with a very bitter pill to swallow.

The Spanish driver’s strategy got thrown out of the window due to the Safety Car coming in and he was eventually forced to settle for a politary point owing to his P10 finish in the race.

Alonso was rather frustrated at the end of the race, and understandably so.

“It’s hard to accept that everything is going in the wrong way at the moment,” he said.

“The podium today would have been easy with Max out. With George on the podium, I think we were a lot faster than the Mercedes on this circuit. So we lost an opportunity.” 

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