After qualifying in which he managed to reach Q3, Fernando Alonso started fourteenth after a five-second penalty for mounting a new combustion engine. However, the objective of the Spanish driver was to finish the 2022 F1 United States GP in the points.
With hard, Alonso tried to surprise his rivals at the start by taking the inside line of the first corner, and after Sainz abandoned by accident, he gained another position to take 12th on the first lap. While he stayed on the track with the Pirelli hard compound, his rivals with the medium ones stopped, which lifted the Spaniard to seventh place after the first 15 laps.
On fresh tyres, Russell passed Alonso on lap 16, and the Spaniard was seventh when the Safety Car came out following Valtteri Bottas’ crash. There, Alpine took advantage of a double pitstop , and the #14 rejoined ninth, just tied with Pierre Gasly.
When the test restarted on lap 22, Alonso overtook the AlphaTauri for eighth and then tried to attack Lance Stroll, but the Canadian moved and there was a touch that sent the Aston Martin spinning wildly and the Alpine flying. After a ‘wheelie’ and touching the wall, Alonso fell to 14th place, but had to reach the pits to repair the car, with the nose completely ripped off.
The man from Oviedo was able to continue in the race, and took advantage of the fact that the peloton was grouped together to gradually overtake his rivals and advance positions with the second stops. On lap 41, Esteban Ocon gave up his eighth place to an Alonso who was coming much faster, and the Spaniard also overtook Kevin Magnussen with seven laps to go, while his rear-view mirror was ripped off, to be sixth.
With a lap to go, Lando Norris overtook him, and although Alonso tried to hit him back, the McLaren driver’s younger tires saw the two-time champion finish seventh, a great result after seeing the shock of his mid-race collision.
As soon as he got out of his car, the Alpine driver spoke to the DAZN F1 microphones and analyzed the accident, the race and his seventh final position after starting fourteenth in the 2022 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.
“The first thing is that I’m happy to be here talking to you, because I could be in the medical center… so, I’m happy about that,” he said in clear reference to his accident.
“We were lucky with the first Safety Car, we put the media in and we were already in the lead group, but then I tried to catch Lance Stroll’s slipstream, I moved at the last moment to get out and he moved at that point too, so It was a bit of bad luck, we didn’t understand each other very well”.
“When I was in the air I was a bit scared. When you go towards the outer fences it can be dangerous, but when I saw that it landed on the asphalt I said ‘well, the whole car will have broken, I retire and the race is over here’. That’s what I thought when I came into the pits, but they changed the tires and told me to go on until the end, with 32 laps to go and I thought we couldn’t do it, but I don’t know, finishing seventh seems unbelievable.”
After two great comebacks in the same race, one of them after an accident that left him in shock until the end of it, Alonso acknowledged that it had been his best Sunday so far in the 2022 Formula 1 season.
“It has been the best race of the year for sure, but I still have the scare in my body. And also very physical due to all the potholes and others, each lap I was pushing as if they were time trial laps”.
“The last 20 laps I was still thinking about the accident and I just wanted to finish the race today,” concluded the two-time Spanish world champion.