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Formula 1 Belgian GP

Alonso explains uncharacteristic Spa F1 sprint spin

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso has explained the uncharacteristic mistake that caused him to crash, which Nico Hulkenberg joked was “karma”, in Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix sprint race.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

The two-time world champion lined up only 14th for the shorter Saturday contest as a legacy of not setting a time in Q2 owing to the red flag caused by team-mate Lance Stroll shunting.

Starting behind Stroll in 14th, by virtue of not having track position, he was kept out for an extra lap before pitting to swap his starting wet tyres for intermediates in a rain-affected bout.

But on lap three of the reduced 11, Alonso lost control of his AMR23 and spun into the gravel at Pouhon - while chasing the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg - to retire from 16th place.

The Spaniard took full blame for this shunt, saying: “I was following very closely behind Nico at the entry to Pouhon. I lost downforce, touched the white line, and just lost the car.

“Trying to find grip - and guessing the grip levels in each corner - was tricky. It was very slippery, and it was my mistake.”

Aston Martin has confirmed that his car sustained no damage after lighting kissing the barriers.

Hulkenberg joked that Alonso losing the car, having “enjoyed my turbulence”, was a case of “karma [having] hit back out at him”.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

The German’s comment followed the pair coming to blows on lap two of 11 when Alonso rejoined the track after pitting.

The Aston Martin driver appeared to drift to the left of the track to force Hulkenberg to lift to avoid running over the wet grass.

The stewards summoned Alonso for his aggressive return and have handed him a warning.

Having reviewed the on-board footage, the stewards noted: “Alonso was exiting the pits and moved over to the left, causing car 27 to have to take action to avoid a collision.

“Alonso explained that he had no visibility to the rear at the time, and that he had driven on the far left of the track at that location on every lap in order to maximise his forward visibility.

“While the Stewards accept these facts, the move from the right to the left in this case, while slower than the cars that had remained on track, caused the potential for a collision.”

Alonso will start the full Sunday GP from ninth place.

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