Fernando Alonso was happy to get points for Alpine in Brazil, but he also wanted to get past a challenging weekend.
After a freezing Brazilian Grand Prix weekend, Fernando Alonso and Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon declare that “my heart is in racing.”
For the Sprint race at Interlagos, Ocon and Alonso qualified fifth and sixth. On the first lap, Ocon pressed Alonso at Turn 4, and the two later collided when descending the hill from Turn 12.
The stewards awarded Alonso a grid drop and penalty points after determining that he was in responsibility. This basically ended his Sprint and damaged his front wing.
Alonso, who hit Ocon prior to the penalty being given, slipped to 17th on the grid as a result, but he skillfully rebounded to secure a fifth-place result, just behind Charles Leclerc and 9.561 seconds behind George Russell, the race’s eventual winner.
Alonso was eager to move on in advance of his 2023 Aston Martin transfer, despite having more cordial ties with Ocon on Sunday, along with being allowed to attack on the Safety Car restart.
Alonso on Brazil
“I made a mistake when Esteban and I made contact, so we wanted to do our best and race hard for the team,” the two-time World Champion explained.
“We needed these points heading to Abu Dhabi [in the fight for fourth in the Constructors].”
“There is one more race with the team to go and my heart is in the racing.
“The car was very competitive, and our strategy was out of sync with most of the cars.
“At the end, I had newer tyres and we pushed as close to the front as we could.
“I overtook Sergio [Perez] and then tried to look at Charles [Leclerc] but they were a step too fast for overtaking.”
By pitting early and moving to the Mediums, Alonso used a three-stop plan to gain track position.
This allowed him to have a fresh set of Softs for a final assault in the final minutes, which was aided by the Safety Car. During this time, Ocon seemed to disobey a team instruction not to battle with the Spanish racer, but the Frenchman finally obeyed.
After two DNFs for the Woking team, Alpine is ahead of McLaren by 19 points in the battle for fourth heading to Abu Dhabi. Ocon followed up Alonso’s fifth-place finish with an eighth-place finish, giving the team a total of 14 points.
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Brazilian GP, Brazilian Grand Prix, F1, F1 2022, Formula 1, Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Esteban Ocon