Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll were involved in a high-speed accident on the back straight during Sunday’s race at Circuit of the Americas after the Canadian Aston Martin driver made a late defensive move to the left.
The contact between the two caused Alonso’s car to fly into the air, suffering damage that made him slowly return to the pits. Alonso was able to continue, unlike Stroll, who had to leave the race as a result of the incident.
Alonso said on the radio after the accident that it was a “very late manoeuvre”, but after going to see the stewards – who sanctioned Stroll with three places on the starting grid for the next race in Mexico – he described it as an incident. of race.
“Honestly, I’ve seen what happened on TV, and I think it’s a racing incident, ” said Alonso, who was handed a 30-second penalty after the race, dropping him from seventh to 15th after a protest. de Haas that Alpine is appealing.
“We moved pretty much at the same time to the left, and that was the trigger for everything. So I think it was a very unlucky moment for everyone.”
The two drivers will race together for Aston Martin Racing next season after Alonso signed a multi-year deal with the team at the end of August.
Alonso said he and Stroll were “in agreement in the stewards room” when discussing the incident, and that it was a debate “more between our 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!”
Asked if he thought Stroll had moved a bit late to defend the position, Alonso replied: “Sure, but when you’re going 300km/h, those moves, you know, in a tenth of a second, you move 200m.”
“If it’s slow motion and you move it frame by frame, he’ll move a little later than I do. If you go normal speed, you see both cars at about the same time. So after watching TV, I don’t think anything different can be done .”
Alonso admitted the accident was “not pleasant” to live with, revealing that he feared his car was headed for the fence on the left-hand side of the track.
“I thought it was much more to the left, and obviously if you end up against the fence, the metal fence, then you do a 360-degree turn in the air,” Alonso said.
“You see these kinds of accidents a lot in IndyCar, and they’re pretty dangerous. I thought I’d end up on that fence. Then when the car landed on the track, I thought it was okay.”
Alonso thought his car “was sure to break”, but not only was he able to continue in the race after receiving a new front nose and wing, he managed to climb back to seventh, before Haas’s protest led to his penalty.
“I was surprised that they changed my tires and front wing and sent me out on track.”
“I told myself it would all end there. But apparently not, the car was fine, when they checked visually everything was fine, so we just kept going.”
“The second part of the bad news was that we got to the end on that set of hard tyres, and there were still 32 laps to go, which I thought we’d never get there.
“It was a good decision by the team and a good strategy. Finishing P7 (before the penalty) with a car that was broken and we were last is something important.”