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Alonso enjoyed the fight despite finishing P14 in Japan

Written by  Oct 07, 2018

Fernando Alonso claims he enjoyed the race-long battle with Marcus Ericsson and the two Williams' despite being unable to challenge for points at the Japanese GP.

The McLaren driver started 18th and was running as high as 13th in the early laps but would be penalised by the stewards for going off track and gaining an advantage after a battle with Lance Stroll at the final chicane.

Moments earlier, the Canadian had passed him around the outside of 130R but he also was penalised for putting all four wheels off track when completing the overtake.

“Unfortunately, the five-second penalty I received in the first part of the race dropped me down several positions,” Alonso said post-race.

“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.”

Seemingly counting down the races until he calls time on his F1 career, the double world champion admits that while he is only fighting for lowly positions, it is still fun.

“In spite of the poor result, I did enjoy driving around this track today,” he continued.

“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 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.”

Suzuka also marked a milestone for Alonso as he moved ahead of Rubens Barrichello into second on the all-time F1 laps completed with 16,651 to his name, 174 short of the record set by Michael Schumacher.

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