McLaren has confirmed that a stray visor tear-off forced Fernando Alonso to retire from the Spanish Grand Prix.
Starting 13th, Alonso ran as high as seventh during Sunday’s race but had to retire after encountering an issue with the brakes on his McLaren.
The Spaniard toured into the pits to retire, but missed his pit box, with his McLaren mechanics fortunately able to scamper clear.
A post-race investigation by the team revealed that a visor tear-off had become lodged in Alonso’s rear-brake duct, causing the failure.
“My pitstop was a scary moment – I didn’t have much rear braking for my whole in-lap, then even less at the stop,” Alonso said. “It was scary for the mechanics, but luckily it didn’t hurt anyone.
“My brake issue was separate from Jenson’s problem yesterday; in qualifying, he had a single disc that wasn’t reaching temperature, but I had no brakes. I think the rear disc stopped working, so I only had front brakes.”
After a testing weekend in front of his home crowd, Alonso is simply looking ahead to the next round in Monaco.
“Things are coming together. We’re still a long way off the front and need to take bigger steps, but this is a very challenging project and I’m happy that we’re recovering well.
“This has been a disappointing day, but the team will investigate what happened, and we’ll come back stronger in Monaco.”
Image courtesy of McLaren