McLaren drivers on podium at last - but only joking

Sat Nov 14, 2015 1:49pm EST
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By Camila Moreira

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - McLaren drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button stepped onto the Formula One podium for the first time this season on Saturday -- but only in jest after yet another qualifying nightmare in Brazil.

Neither of the two former world champions made it through the opening phase at Interlagos, with Spaniard Alonso told by the team to pull over before he had even got a timed lap under his belt.

"No power," he said, before parking on the grass.

Alonso had spent much of Friday afternoon watching from the barriers after a similar failure in practice and on Saturday he made himself more comfortable.

Lying back in a foldable picnic chair, feet resting on his helmet, he winked theatrically at a television camera and soaked up some afternoon sun.

"I need to be a little bit more prepared next time in Abu Dhabi (the final race of the season in two weeks' time), take the telephone and the sun tanning (lotion) or something," Alonso told the BBC. "It was quite hot out there."

When the session was over, the two drivers -- who won their titles in Brazil with Renault and Brawn respectively -- drew a roar from the crowd when they sneaked onto the podium for old times' sake.

"We passed that close to the podium, Jenson and me, and we said we will not be that close any more this year and we took a picture at least," said Alonso.   Continued...