Shanghai: Fernando Alonso’s second engine failure in two weeks during practice for the Chinese Grand Prix on Friday was expected, the Ferrari driver said.
The Spaniard was forced to retire in Malaysia two weeks ago when his engine blew up and he suffered a similar fate during the morning practice session in Shanghai.
The twice world champion said the engine that went up in smoke on Friday was one of a pair that were replaced in the two Ferrari cars as a precaution before the season-opener in Bahrain, which he won.
“We lost an engine today, which is never a good thing, we would like to have all the engines perfectly okay,” the 28-year-old told reporters.
“We knew that this engine was a little bit damaged after Bahrain, it was the one we replaced in Bahrain before the race so we are not too worried.
“It was something we were expecting, not perhaps here, but here or Barcelona, we knew that this engine was degrading a bit every Friday.
“This one was expected, the Malaysia one was a little more of a surprise.”
Each driver is now limited to the use of eight engines over the season and Alonso conceded the team would now have to reshuffle its resources, although he maintained it would not affect the most important parts of the race weekend.
“What it means is that from now on on Fridays we will use very old engines, but the engines for qualification and races will be very fresh engines, very okay. So not a problem,” said the former Renault and McLaren driver, who had used three engines by the start of the race week.
Alonso went out with another engine for the second session and recorded the 10th fastest time, giving him confidence that he would be competitive in Saturday’s qualifying.
“I don’t see any reason not to be optimistic for tomorrow,” he added.