Fernando Alonso was pleased to secure good points in F1 Dutch GP after interesting battles with Lando Norris, as Esteban Ocon rues strategy.
It was another solid day for Alpine pair in F1 Dutch GP, with both Alonso and Ocon scoring points helping themselves to remain ahead of McLaren in the standings. For the Spaniard, he ended up sixth after starting from outside the Top 10.
He was naturally disappointed to miss out on Top 10 on Saturday, but came back well in the race using an aggressive strategy. He was behind Norris at one point, but the last safety car period allowed him to jump over him for track position.
And a penalty to Carlos Sainz, helped him gain one more place. “It was hard to overtake, especially for Lando because I think they lacked a little bit of straight-line speed so for me it was a little bit easier,” said Alonso about the battle with the Brit. “At the beginning with the AlphaTauri, we managed to pass them on track then we pit very early for the hard because we wanted some clear air in front of us and it was it was working quite fine.
“And then I had obviously one extra new set of softs because we didn’t go to Q3 yesterday so everything was looking good. And then the last safety car obviously people pitted for a fresher tyre, so we put ourselves in some difficulties there trying to manage and keep the position, but we did and with Carlos’ penalty, P6 at the end it was very good.
“It was good, it was for sure 70 laps of qualifying because we could not relax at any point. The start was good but I lost places on the outside of one, so I had to fight very hard to recover some, then we put the hard and we had to push very hard to make that middle stint work.
“And then when we thought that it was a more relaxed part of the race at the end with a good freshness of tyre, it came to safety car and we have to fight again all the last twelve laps so it was very demanding race for sure,” summed up Alonso. When asked to elaborate on the defensive drive from Norris, where they almost went off, he was fine with it.
“It was okay,” continued Alonso. “The only problem with this car is that when you are on the exit kerbs you damage the car. I think it happened to Sergio Perez at the end with Carlos and I got just lucky so this rule is always very strange as it is now. If it was a wall there maybe you treat differently the car outside when it’s just the kerb.
“We all push to the outside so it’s what it is but it was fine. And regarding the incident with Perez, I don’t know, he risked a lot for no reason probably. And apparently, I spoke with him and he the damaged the floor a little bit. It was a lot of risk going on there. I was just concentrating on the cars behind because obviously the Ferrari and Red Bull were not my fight,” summed up Alonso.
After a luckless 2021, Alonso has had a decent 2022 season and Dutch GP was his 10th straight points finish. Even though he is behind Ocon in the standings, but the Spaniard has been consistent so far to aide Alpine to keep its nose ahead of McLaren.
For Ocon, he was a tad disappointed as he opted to stay out longer which cost him time and track position. “It’s a disappointing one I would say,” he said. “I think we could have finished further up the road and the points are quite big from ninth to fifth or sixth, these places. I think more would have been possible if we had optimised it but we didn’t do so, which is a bit of a shame.
“But it’s a good recovery from [qualifying] where we were not that competitive and we came back into the points, so that’s the positives we’re going to take. On an individual note, it’s not the best race. I think we stayed on the first set of tyres for quite a lot longer than what was supposed to happen and from there on I lost six, seven, maybe eight seconds in total. So I need to review it but that’s where we didn’t get it right I think.”