Fernando Alonso was pleased to score more points in F1 Azerbaijan GP with Esteban Ocon making it double, as Andreas Seidl talks of strategy.
After a stuttering start to the season, Alpine driver and two time World Champion Alonso now appears to be back in the game with a third consecutive top 10 finish. It had been a stuttering start but ninth in Spain and seventh in Monaco and Baku has been a small turnaround. Obviously, a race of attrition and the Ferrari double retirement helped in Baku.
The car has raw speed and of course there has never ever been a doubt over Alonso’s ability and and he managed to keep a good buffer over the chasing McLaren pair. “I am happy with P7, obviously we benefit from the retirements in front of us, the Ferrari’s and Tsunoda but these happen both here and in Barcelona and we take the six points which give us a good taste and after seventh in Monaco and here again,” said Alonso.
It’s good to see that Alpine are as a team starting to become consistent and build momentum. “All the speed we had on the straight today which help to keep the cars behind so we need that and maximise our strengths and let’s see in Canada if we can find more performance because two or three tenths we can make a huge step forward,” said Alonso.
For the other half of the Alpine concern, Ocon, he too finished in the points; 10th place but the Frenchman was a touch displeased with his result. “It hasn’t been our weekend, not the best pace in the race, pretty slow, we were looking a bit more in the mirrors than attacking in front like we score with both cars so that is the positive of course but as I said not the easiest race and I look forward to turn things around in Canada,” he said.
A disappointed Ocon which in one way is good to see that both he and the team have the ambition and hunger for better results in the remaining Grands Prix although he remains unsure why he did not finish higher. “We were fast, obviously we got the yellow flags so we could not qualify further up and obviously that didn’t happen and from where we started.
“I was expecting to catch back in the race and that was not the case at all and we were struggling more in the race than qualifying so we need to come back analyse better,” said Ocon. But nonetheless a double points finish and something to build on in Montreal.
Sandwiched between the Alpine’s were the McLaren in eighth and ninth. They spent a good deal of the race in close proximity with the French team. Towards the end they were chasing Alonso, but they realised it wasn’t possible to catch him. In fact, earlier in the race, the team tried to get Lando Norris ahead via pit stop but it didn’t work.
With Alonso having a better pace, the only thing McLaren could do was to cover off Ocon which they did. “I think the only chance probably to get Fernando was if he would have pitted also with Lando, maybe at the first virtual safety car on lap eight or nine where several cars pitted,” said Andreas Seidl to media including FormulaRapida.net.
“But with our lack of straight line speed that we had all weekend we knew if we do that and fall into traffic, like some other cars did like Gasly and so on, and not being able to clear this traffic quickly because of our SL deficit. Different to Gasly for example, we would have gone completely out of the race”.
“And that’s why it was the right thing to stay out and just stay with Fernando, seeing if any other opportunities would come up trying the overcut as well, for example by making sure you keep your medium tyres in the first stint in a good place and a happy place that you then can push when the car in front boxes. But with the tyres not having really a lot left then we just had to settle in the position where we started with Lando”.
“With everything I see at the moment, I think we maximised pretty much what we didn’t handle today. I think it was just not possible to do more with the package we had here,” summed up Seidl.
Here’s whole lot from McLaren side about Baku