Williams’ Lance Stroll has shrugged off the whole blame from himself in his clash with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso at the start of Formula 1’s US Grand Prix.
After having a coming together in the Japanese Grand Prix, Stroll and Alonso once again found themselves together jostling for track positions when the two made contact which was enough for Alonso to retire from the race.
The two were side-by-side going into a snake-like Turn 4/5 as Stroll opted for the inside line and ran over the kerb slightly to overtake Alonso, who then turned slightly towards the Canadian when they hit each other.
Replays from a different angle also suggested Alonso move to the right to cover his position when they touched. But Stroll was handed a drive-through penalty which compromised his race as he finished 16th – although he was promoted to 14th.
In his defence, Stroll said he made the move only after he saw a gap enough to put his car alongside. “It was a terrible day,” he started. “I had contact with Alonso on the first lap in turn five. I saw a gap and went for it, but I don’t think he really saw me and turned in.
“After that my race was finished as I got the drive through and that was that. I haven’t [just after the race] seen the footage, but I think it was a racing incident. I am just disappointed about the result.”
The two-time champion wasn’t in the best mood referring the drivers as ‘amateurs’ and playing ‘ping-pong’ in the opening few corners. “There was a lot of action in Turn Four, which was a surprise, because it’s not normal to overtake into that high-speed section.
“Three cars were trying to overtake each other and a couple of guys around me were very optimistic, misjudging their position and manoeuvres a bit, and the result was that some cars ended up in the wall and one of those was mine.
“It’s always the same story, it just keeps happening. At the start, people are trying to bump everyone else, the same as when you have a rental car! No one does it on purpose, but today they played bowling with my car again, like they did in Spa.
“It’s a shame. We came out here early to prepare for this race and it only lasted a couple of corners,” he said. It is becoming a frustrating end for Alonso in F1 having scored only once in the second half with three retirements.