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Alonso’s gamble ends in retirement

Mar 24, 2013, 4:32 AM EST

AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 Getty Images

Fernando Alonso’s Malaysian Grand Prix ended after just one lap as a gamble from the Spaniard failed to pay off.

Off the start, Alonso tucked in behind Sebastian Vettel despite facing pressure from his teammate Felipe Massa, and the second Red Bull of Mark Webber. Slight contact was made, causing damage to a portion of Alonso’s front wing. He was however able to continue, and he remained in P2 as the drivers completed their first lap.

However, the Ferrari came under pressure from Webber heading into the first corner, and Alonso’s front wing went under his F138. This caused the car to lose control, spearing off into the gravel where Alonso’s rear wheels became beached, ending his race.

Towards the end of the first lap, many expected Alonso to pit for fresh tires and a new front wing, but he decided to continue, most probably until the track dried out allowing for slick tires. This would have saved Alonso an extra pit stop, but in hindsight, the option to pit was definitely the right one.

Unsurprisingly, Alonso returned to the pit lane with his helmet still on, refusing to talk to the media until later in the day.

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