Fernando Alonso's days in Formula 1 may be numbered due to his upcoming switch to IndyCar and the World Endurance Championship, but before he waves goodbye he could potentially break Michael Schumacher's record for the amount of laps completed in the sport.
The Spaniard's outing in the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday means he has now covered 16,651 laps in his career, which puts him 174 laps behind Schumacher's record of 16,825.
Alonso eventually finished 14th in Suzuka, but his performance was hampered by a five-second penalty which he received after veering off the track to avoid Lance Stroll. He admits he doesn't quite understand why he was penalised by the stewards.
“Unfortunately, the five-second penalty I received in the first part of the race dropped me down several positions,” Alonso said.
“It wasn’t a big drama, because we were out of the points anyway, but it’s difficult to understand the stewards’ decision. I had nowhere to go but off the track when Lance [Stroll] came across not having seen me, as he said.”
Despite not finishing within the points places, Alonso did enjoy his drive on the day.
“In spite of the poor result, I did enjoy driving around this track today,” the McLaren man added.
“The first lap was quite good and intense, and in the Esses especially we were overtaking each other inside and outside and we recovered a few places.
“In the last couple of laps there was also a good battle with the Williams and [Marcus] Ericsson who were struggling on old tyres, so we had to fight a little bit. Even though we were too slow all weekend, in the end it was an enjoyable race.”
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