Alonso: Dutch GP was "70 laps of qualifying" in recovery to sixth

Fernando Alonso said his Dutch Grand Prix felt like "70 laps of qualifying" as he fought from 13th to sixth, boosting Alpine’s bid for fourth in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship.

Alonso: Dutch GP was "70 laps of qualifying" in recovery to sixth

Alonso dropped out in Q2 on Saturday at Zandvoort after being hindered by traffic, but managed to battle his way up the order through the opening stint of the race.

Alpine was one of the first teams to switch to the hard compound tyre, helping Alonso move up the order before planning a return to softs for the final stint.

The Spaniard managed to keep McLaren’s Lando Norris at bay after the late safety car to cross the line seventh, moving up to sixth after Carlos Sainz’s five-second penalty had been applied.

“It was good, it was 70 laps of qualifying today because we could not relax at any point,” Alonso explained after the race.

“The start was good, but I lost places on the outside of Turn 1, 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 12 laps.

“It was a very demanding race for sure.”

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Alonso did manage to get close to Sainz and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez at one stage as they battled for position, but he was wary about it opening the door for anyone chasing him.

“I knew that Carlos had the five seconds penalty, so I didn't want that they fight too hard and they put me in problems with the car behind,” said Alonso.

“It was it was a good race and obviously I know the position gained at the end, we did it in Spa, one spot from Ferrari and one here also from Ferrari. So we gain always one position!”

Alonso revealed Alpine’s pre-race simulations only had him finishing as high as ninth, making the result a welcome boost for the team in its constructors’ fight with McLaren.

Alpine now sits 24 points clear in the battle to top the midfield and finish fourth in the standings, aided by Esteban Ocon’s run to ninth place.

Read Also:

But the Frenchman was left lamenting running the soft tyre too long in the opening stint, staying out six laps longer than Alonso who managed to get the undercut.

“We lost a good eight or nine seconds in the beginning trying to stay on that soft tyre for longer,” said Ocon.

“That was where we lost the race today. So it’s a bit of a shame, but it’s still a good recovery, coming back with both cars into the points from where we were. It’s a solid effort, but today there was much more possible on the table.

“Sixth was definitely my place today. That’s what we’re going to try and chase in Monza.”

shares
comments

Related video

When can Verstappen clinch the 2022 F1 world title?
Previous article

When can Verstappen clinch the 2022 F1 world title?

Next article

Vettel on Hamilton blocking in Dutch GP: "I can't disappear"

Vettel on Hamilton blocking in Dutch GP: "I can't disappear"
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022