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as in Silverstone, but in reverse

"Tomorrow I will be aggressive, as always." After the magnificent pace on Friday - compared to the two previous races - Fernando Alonso


“Tomorrow I will be aggressive, as always.” After the magnificent pace on Friday – compared to the two previous races – Fernando Alonso warmed up muscle for the sprint race of the Brazilian GP. That deflated from the very start, completing its worst performance of the three held in 2021. As at Silverstone, but in reverse. Do youAnd when has Alonso been seen being overtaken by two Alfa Romeos simultaneously, one on each side?

“I’ll be happy to win some positions, we usually make up some places at Silverstone and Monza, so I hope to be eighth or ninth on the grid on Sunday, something better than tenth place. “And how did he finish twelfth? Everything went awry since his limping snatch, and he no longer straightened up.

A traction that became eternal

“We came out with the means, we didn’t know if the socks or the red ones (the softest compound) which was the best choice and we put a car with reds, another with the socks to cover all the possibilities, and perhaps we had the worst strategy, but we didn’t know before we started, it’s easy to say now… “ Alonso explained after the race. Indeed, there was no crystal ball to decide which would be the best option, although Carlos Sainz gave some clues as to why the soft, statistically, played in favor. At least, in the case of Ferrari. Low ambient and track temperatures also favored the red compound. And Alonso may no longer have another new soft compound.

His Alpine briefly fainted at the start, and the drive-in arrival took forever. Perhaps the result of the greater laziness of the average compound to gain temperature, but the Spanish did not start off finely either. But sharks do not spare blood and several cars had surpassed him when leaving Senna’s eses, including his partner Ocon, who had come out with the red compound.

Alonso in action. (Reuters / Ricardo Moraes)

Alonso was the shadow of that already famous first round of Silverstone. Where there was lightning in Interlagos, he looked erratic, stumbling, unable to thread the line during the entire initial turn, with problems in some braking due to tires that were still made of stone, Alonso seemed a defenseless pilot before his enemies .

The Spaniard tried angrily, regained the position that Tsunoda had stolen from him shortly before, lost it again… When each Alfa Romeo passed him one on each side, they left him off the hook from the compact front row. It was anticipated that it was going to be a good day. Fortunately, the Alphas made cakes among themselves, almost ridiculously.

“Ho Ho Ho…”

There was hope that his tires would stretch, especially after returning that Giovinazzi who had shaved one side shortly before, with Raikkonen the other. But Alonso was already a mere spectator in the distance of the group that marched ahead, with too much space to throw the hook. Ocon, Vettel, Gasly, the two McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, Bottas… Nobody got within range, except Alonso himself when Hamilton came from behind with a supersonic missile.

The tire finally got warm, and Alonso approached Ricciardo. Like most rivals ahead, he was no longer able to overtake. Alonso’s performance was surprising both for the lack of an initial hook and for the contrast with the rhythm of Friday and, even, with the first position of the free practice on Saturday. “I’m confident for the race, because I was going much faster than the cars in front, but they were all on a DRS train and therefore you can never overtake.” Too bad the positions lost on Saturday. Because Ocon confirmed with his words the magnificent pace of the A521, which produced better results than those of his teammate.

Go for Gasly like crazy

For the first time in the sprint race format, Alonso lost places compared to his starting position. “Did Hamilton look good?” the Spanish asked his engineer. “Fifth.” “Ho ho ho …” replied the pilot with a sarcastic laugh. “What a scandal” could have been translated. The engineer understood without further ado. “I know…”. Later it would be dispatched about it. It was almost impossible to overtake in the peloton, but the Mercedes had passed most of them over the top. “In a normal race, Hamilton would finish on the podium, no sport should be like this.”

Fernando Alonso during the sprint race. (Reuters / Ricardo Moraes)

“On paper it doesn’t look so good (the race) we started ninth and tenth (after Hamilton’s disqualification, although we anticipated that we would lose places with Lewis,” explained Alan Permane, Alpine’s head of track operations, “but most importantly is that we finished just behind Gasly, and that is what we are fighting for in the championship (fifth place). So very happy with this, because our two cars were faster than him (Gasly), with a couple of laps we would have surpassed him (Ocon). The goal tomorrow is to get both cars in the points and overtake Alpha Tauri, it is a very clear and simple goal and we will do everything we can. ”

No allusion to Spanish. Fernando Alonso, for his part, was pulling that appealed tagline so his when the plan does not go as planned. “… but hey, the points are given in the race.”