Alonso stays positive while Ferrari celebrate

Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:34am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - One word seemed to encapsulate Fernando Alonso's Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.

The comment, posted on Twitter under a photograph of the sweaty Spaniard walking in his McLaren overalls past the Ferrari garage and the Italian team's smiling mechanics, was simple: 'Ouch'.

It was hard not to feel a twinge of pity for the double world champion, who left Ferrari for McLaren at the end of last year, as his former employers celebrated their first victory since 2013.

Formula One glamor team Ferrari are back in business while McLaren, with their new partners Honda, have gone backwards.

Alonso, who missed the first race of the season after a crash in testing, lasted just 21 laps before retiring due to cooling problems with the car's energy recovery system.

World champion Lewis Hamilton, who partnered Alonso at McLaren in 2007 and whose own move to Mercedes at the end of 2012 had commentators fearing he had made a mistake, felt for the Spaniard.

"I sat next to Sebastian (Vettel in the news conference) and thought to myself 'What is Fernando thinking?," he said after Alonso's jubilant replacement had sprayed the winner's champagne.

"I remember when I left McLaren and came here (Mercedes), we were better the next year. I had a good feeling then but he's almost done the opposite of what I did. It could have been him today. It's just strange how things turn out."   Continued...

Formula One - F1 - Malaysian Grand Prix 2015 - Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - 26/3/15. McLaren's Fernando Alonso smiles during the press conference. Reuters / Olivia Harris