Fernando Alonso had a tremendous weekend in Azerbaijan, finishing P6 – his best F1 result in three-and-a-half years. He was not having a good time on his return to F1 and was visibly struggling. However, after the tough start to the season, the Spaniard has finally found his feet in the Alpine car.
Despite qualifying in P8, Alonso did not have an impressive start to the race, falling out of the top 10 like a rock. He struggled for pace and dropped from his starting position of P8 to P13. But a late gamble to take the soft tires and an aggressive approach in the two-lap sprint after the red flag saw him pull off a brilliant P6.
After the post-race press conference, Alonso admitted that he was so dedicated to fighting for a good finish that he was prepared to lose the front wing of his car or even end up in the wall.
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What did Fernando Alonso say?
When asked about his strategy before the restart, the two-time champion said, “I spoke to the team before restarting the race and I said to them, ‘Look, we’re going to push, if there’s a gap, I’ll get in there. If we lose any points or we get into the wall or we lose our front wing, then I said, ‘it’s going to be terrible, but at least let’s try’.
“All in all it was a lot of fun, followed by two not-so-sweet rounds. Another reboot would be nice!” (Translated via Google Translate)
Minor delay “killed” pitstop strategy – Alonso
While they managed a decent result post-restart, Alpine’s pace in the first part of the race was not good enough. In fact, the Spaniard was one of the first to pit in the midfield battle, despite falling outside the top 10.
Speaking of the early pit-stop, Alonso said, “To be honest we were a bit lacking in pace and tried to be creative with strategy. We used the opportunity in the first safety car, but we were 0.3 or 0.4 seconds short of tempo. And that was something that killed the whole strategy.
“So we need to look at the situation for the next races. But today I am happy. We’ll see what happens in the next weeks.”
With eight points from this race, Alonso has jumped to P11 in the drivers’ standings, just one point ahead of his teammate Esteban Ocon.
Can the two-time champion continue to deliver excellent results with the French Grand Prix is around the corner? Let us know in the comments below.
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