Fernando Alonso still feeling pain from opening lap accident in Belgium

MARINA BAY, Singapore — Fernando Alonso says he still hasn’t fully recovered from last month’s dramatic first corner accident in Belgium which saw himself, Nico Hulkenberg and Charles Leclerc all retire from the race immediately.

The two-time world champion was seen wearing strapping across his right hand and wrist on Thursday in Singapore and claimed he is still in some serious discomfort.

“I thought that it could be okay by now but it’s more or less at the same level of pain,” Alonso said when asked how he was feeling. “It’s strange. Probably next week I will do some further checks. We don’t know [if it’s broken].”

Despite the pain, Alonso confirmed it won’t cause him any trouble when he gets behind the wheel of his McLaren this weekend in Singapore.

“While driving, with the adrenaline and everything, you don’t feel it at all,” he said. “But with the normal day things, like cleaning teeth, you do feel some pain.”

McLaren had an impressive outing in Singapore 12 months ago. Alonso qualified an impressive eighth at the Marina Bay circuit and a lightning getaway saw him almost challenging for the lead into the first corner. Unfortunately for the Spaniard he got caught up in another opening corner collision and was forced to retire several laps later with terminal damage.

However, teammate Stoffel Vandoorne was able to showcase McLaren’s race pace by avoiding the chaos and driving to what is still a career best equaling result of P7.

But speaking ahead of his final race in Singapore, Alonso said he isn’t expecting a similar performance and believes the team has gone backwards.

“I think last year we knew the car was really good on the chassis side and on these type of circuits where the engine was not very important, we were always easily in the top 10 and fighting sometimes for top five,” Alonso said. “This year is a little bit more difficult. The car is not as good as last year and we’re struggling a little bit more, even in these type of circuits.”