Fernando Alonso was happy with the fightback in F1 Brazil GP after a bad Saturday with Esteban Ocon also feeling relieved.
It was a horror of a Saturday sprint race for Alpine pair in F1 Brazil GP where not only both collided but also ended up outside points with damage to their cars. In a fight against McLaren, this was the last thing they needed on their heads.
But come Sunday, everything changed quickly after both Alonso and Ocon staged a mighty comeback in a stop/start grand prix. The Frenchman was ahead for most part but was passed by the Spaniard, who finished fifth as his teammate was eighth.
They now have a 19 points lead with a grand prix left and it is safe to say that fourth place is more or less done for Alpine. Alonso was quite pleased with how things panned out in the end which included the pass on Ocon amid rising tensions.
Solid race –
Alonso: “Definitely a very good race for us. Obviously, we chose a three stop strategy. So we were out of sync with most of the cars. And at the end, the last safety car reshuffled the race a little bit. I had newer tyres. And I could have some fun at the end, overtaking Checo, fighting with Charles. And with McLaren out of the race, a lot of points for Alpine.
Your best race –
Alonso: “I think the best race, in my opinion was Mexico. I didn’t finish the race. I know, but execution wise I was happier with Mexico than Brazil.”
Bounce back after Saturday –
Alonso: “It was what it was, we both made mistakes. I accept the one on the straight. I think that penalty was extremely harsh. We had exactly the same accident in Portimao with Kimi and Giovinazzi. Nothing happened. Obviously when you don’t damage the other cars. Okay, I take the penalty. I take the blame for that. And the race is on Sunday. So anything can happen as we saw in the race. In two years, I think we had one mistake, it was in sprint race. There was a lot of blame to us, we take those but I think we try to help Alpine every time we jump in the car as we saw.”
Surprised by pace –
Alonso: “I don’t know, I think in the sprint race also we saw the pace was very good. Also in qualifying to be honest it was very good. Just Q3 the drops of rain removed some of my confidence. But yeah, it was a very good weekend in terms of performance.
Run-in with Ocon –
Alonso: “It has been two years clean. Some first laps we had some fights, because we start always together, we qualify very close. So as I said in two years, we had one contact. Okay, people want to do a big thing about that. But we have one contact it two years and today we recover everything we did yesterday. So we try to do the rest for the team.”
Meanwhile, Ocon conceded that Alonso had a better outing and was helped a bit by the safety car period at the end for his three-stop to work. Overall, for him, getting the team points was important which has helped them with a good lead over McLaren.
“I think we did everything perfect, in terms of extracting the maximum that we had in hand. It’s a great day for the team, obviously 14 points,” said Ocon. “I think Fernando did a very good race. He benefited from the Safety Car. We did two different strategies but both of us drove a good [race]. I think, it’s been important that we got those points as the car was fast and that is the most important.
“It’s a big cushion on the last race, we are going to get there feeling a bit more secure and that’s the most important. To get 14 points it’s huge over McLaren and we can be very happy, and I am very happy for the team. We knew we had to be at our best after [the Sprint] disappointment and that’s exactly what we did in the race. The season is not over, and we still have one more race to go,” summed up Ocon.
Here’s Alpine on the toxic comments they have got