Fernando Alonso commented on the incident with Esteban Ocon during sprint qualifying in Brazil. The Aston Martin driver admitted he was “in the wrong place at the wrong time”. Alonso hopes to take part in the sprint later today.
Alonso took part in today’s sprint qualifying at the Interlagos circuit. The Spaniard set a good enough time to allow him to skip the first part of the session. In the last seconds of the session, Alonso moved at a lower speed on the track. Behind him was Esteban Ocon, who was on a fast lap. The Frenchman lost control of his car and collided with the Spaniard at Turn 3, before ending up in the safety barriers. This led to a red flag and a premature end to SQ1
The two-time world champion suffered a flat rear left tire as a result of the incident, but was able to make it to the pits. During the break, the Aston Martin mechanics tried to fix Alonso’s car. In the end, however, he was unable to continue his participation in the session due to the defeats in his car. He will thus start 15th in the Interlagos sprint. Of course, first his car has to be able to take part in the race.
“Unfortunately, we did not manage to complete the qualification. It’s a shame that both cars dropped out of the session and that there’s a lot of damage to them. This is not the way we wanted things to happen,” Alonso shared.
“I have yet to see a repeat of what happened. Someone told me that Esteban lost the car a bit. It was one of those situations where you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time,” added the Aston Martin driver.
Alonso was left unpleasantly surprised by his car’s pace and admitted he still had “some question marks”.
“We had a great pace yesterday. Today we fought a bit more in SQ1 to get ahead, so there are still some question marks about our pace. I’m more confident now than in Mexico and Austin, so I hope to have a good race,” concluded Fernando Alonso. He and Okon were summoned to the stewards after today’s session.
Alonso’s team-mate Lance Stroll crashed out in the first segment of qualifying for the sprint in Brazil. The Aston Martin driver posted the 17th time and complained about the traffic on the track.
“There was just a lot of traffic on the first lap. Here you can’t afford to get away with three or four cars on the first lap,” said Stroll.
“It cost us a lot. I think the car was fine. We weren’t too bad. There was just a lot of traffic in the short session as everyone was trying to make laps. I did the first two sectors I was a few tenths faster than the time of 15th. Unfortunately, there was a lot of traffic from turn 7 until the end of the lap. To be honest I lost tons of downforce in that middle sector,” added the Aston Martin racer.
The stewards investigated the incident between Alonso and Ocon and decided to take no further action
“The stewards found that Alonso was aware that Ocon was approaching at high speed coming out of turn two. He therefore deviated from the racing line to allow Ocon to pass,” the FIA document said.
“In the third turn, Ocon lost the balance of the car and dropped it. At the same time, Alonso moved towards the racing line, giving less space to Ocon. The combination of these two elements led to the collision. The stewards determined that neither pilot had one. Therefore, no penalty is required.’