Alonso: United States GP crash with Stroll was a racing incident

Fernando Alonso believes the dramatic crash with Lance Stroll that sent his Alpine Formula 1 car airborne in the United States Grand Prix was a “very unfortunate” racing incident.

Alonso: United States GP crash with Stroll was a racing incident

Alonso and Stroll made contact at high-speed while going along the back straight during Sunday’s race at the Circuit of The Americas after the Aston Martin driver made a late defensive move to the left.

The resulting contact caused Alonso’s car to point skywards before coming back down onto the track, carrying damage that left him slowly returning to the pits. Alonso was able to continue, while Stroll was eliminated from the race because of the contact.

Alonso said over the radio after the crash that it was a “very late move”, but after go to seeing the stewards - who handed Stroll a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Mexico - he put it down as a racing incident.

“Honestly, when you see the thing on the TV, I think it’s a racing incident to be honest,” said Alonso, who was given a post-race 30-second penalty which dropped him from seventh to 15th after a Haas protest which Alpine is appealing.

“We move basically at the same time to the left, and that was the trigger of everything. So I think it was a very unfortunate moment for everyone.”

The two drivers will race together at Aston Martin next season after Alonso signed a multi-year deal with the team at the end of August.

Alonso said that he and Stroll were “OK now in the stewards’ room” when discussing the incident, and that it was “more between our sporting directors than between us.”

“I think we saw the incident with the same eyes,” he added. “Our sporting directors, they see it with completely different eyes!”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, in the pits after a crash on track

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, in the pits after a crash on track

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Asked if he thought Stroll had moved a bit late to defend the position, Alonso replied: “Sure, but when you are at 300 [km/h], those movements, you know, one-tenth of a second, you move 200 metres.

“If it’s in slow motion and you move it frame by frame, he will move a little bit later than me. If you go normal speed, you see both cars more or less at the same time.

“That’s why after looking on TV, I think there’s nothing you can do differently.”

Alonso admitted the crash was “not nice” to experience, revealing that he feared his car was heading towards the fence on the left-hand side of the track.

“I thought that I was much more on the left, and obviously if you catch the lateral fence, the metallic one, then you spin in the air 360 [degrees],” said Alonso.

“You see this kind of accident a lot in IndyCar, and they are quite dangerous. I thought I was ended up on that fence. Then when the car landed on the track, I thought OK, this is all safe.”

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Alonso thought that his car was “for sure going to be broken”, but not only could he continue in the race after getting a new nose and front wing, but he managed to charge up to seventh - before the protest from Haas resulted his penalty.

“I was surprised when they changed the tyres and the front wing and sent me out,” he said.

“I said OK, you know, it’s just a test, but they will call me in on the next lap or whatever, but apparently no, the car was OK, when they checked it visually, everything was fine, so we kept going.

“The second [bit of] bad news was that we go to the end with that set of [hard] tyres, and it was 32 laps to the end, which I thought we will never make it.

“It was a good call from the team and a good strategy at the end. Finishing P7 [before the penalty] at the end with a car that was broken and we were last, it is quite a thing.”

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