SportF1Alonso's stunt that Alpine reliability ruined on Saturday

Alonso's stunt that Alpine reliability ruined on Saturday

After qualifying on Friday and with the penalty taken by Checo Pérez, Alonso inherited eighth position for Saturday’s sprint race in Austria. That entailed starting in an even place, on the dirty side of the Red Bull Ring, which a priori is a disadvantage.

However, Fernando Alonso showed that his cunning and cunning, like his ability behind the wheel, are at their highest level, and he used legal recourse that would help him start the sprint race.

As our teammate Jonathan Noble observed from the circuit itself, Alonso used the second free practice session (played on Saturday before the short race) to roll on the right side to remove rubber and then, at the end of the session, instead of rehearsing a start from eighth position, he did so from sixth.

“It is fair to say that Fernando Alonso does not leave without using a trick. He drove on the dirty side of the track (where his grid position is) several times during FP2 to clean it up. And he did not want to put rubber in the P8 groove in his exit practice, so he brazenly stopped before Q6 instead…” Noble wrote.

However, when he was ready to use what he had prepared, Alonso’s Alpine did not start on the grid, nor did it start in the pitlane when his mechanics assisted him using even an external battery.

That caused an abandonment before even starting the sprint, which sent the Spaniard directly to the last positions for the grid of the main race on Sunday. And finally, after changing the engine, on Sunday he started 19th thanks to the rear wing change that Alfa Romeo introduced in Bottas ‘ car, which sent the Finn to the pitlane. There, from the odd position, there was no need for tricks like the one that had been ruined on Saturday.

And although in the end we couldn’t see Alonso’s last trick executed, this was yet another example of his tactical intelligence and the Asturian’s skill in racing, what the English call ‘racecraft’.

It reminded, in fact, of the 2021 Russian GP, where Alonso proved to be the smartest in the class. There, after seeing how the FIA left without sanctioning the drivers who skipped the first corner and gained time, he did the same at the start of the race, speeding up the braking and going wide to gain an advantage.

On Sunday, without a trick, Alonso managed to climb from penultimate place to the points, although an extra stop after a problem made him drop from a possible sixth to tenth place. One more sign that Alonso’s current is well above what the table reflects, as he showed throughout this weekend.

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