Fernando Alonso claimed he would have won the Belgian Grand Prix if he had switched to wet weather tyres sooner.
A look a the lap times suggest Alonso has a point. Instead of Alonso passing Sebastian Vettel at the final corner, it could have been Lewis Hamilton…
Alonso changed to wet weather tyres on lap 43, one lap after six other drivers had done the same.
His final lap on cold intermediates was 21s slower than Nick Heidfeld’s, who had stopped for tyres one lap earlier than Alonso. Alonso finished 28.9s behind winner Hamilton.
Had Renault brought him on the same lap as everyone else, giving him a lap to warm his tyres up, he probably would have been quick enough to win.
Alonso and Renault have been at odds over tyre choices in a wet race twice already this year. At Monaco he wanted to use the extreme wet weather tyres early in the race but was put on intermediates, and then crashed. He also argued with his team about tyres at Silverstone.
Alonso has often seemed more keen to take a gamble on strategy while Renault want to be more sonservative and guarantee a haul of points.
After the Belgian Grand Prix they are fifith in the constructors’ championship on 24 points and targetting fourth-placed Toyota who have 36.
18 comments on “Late tyre change cost Alonso the win”
7th September 2008, 16:44
Sorry keith but I heard the comment of Alonso in T5 (Spanish TV channel) and he did not said he asked the team to change tryes earlier.
In fact I heard Fernando said the decission was made by him and the team, and they took it too late.
Anyhow, you’re right, if Renault were little bit “on” Fernando would have been on the podium and even close to win the race.
In any case I understand Renault. They desesperately need the points for WCC final round.
BMW are just more relaxed from the moment they have already achieved their target for this year: Win a race. (Thanks to Kovalainen and Lewis/Kimi btw)
7th September 2008, 16:45
on speed we heard alonso ask just before the rain exactly when and where on the track it would first hit, which i thought was pretty interesting insight into how the man’s mind works. whatever anyone thinks about him he’s got a solid head for strategy on his shoulders. i’m still surprised he managed 4th but, then he would have got the same advantage heidfeld got from the incident in front of them. i’m still not sure what that was all about. we only saw the one replay.
pity, though. i’d have loved to see him win one this season. and he can’t get into a competitive car soon enough to suit me.
7th September 2008, 16:48
win could have been a possibility for fernando.
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
7th September 2008, 16:54
IDR – I’d read elsewhere that he’d complained to the team, but to be on the safe side I’ll soften the language in the post.
7th September 2008, 17:00
I’m afraid everytime Fernando speaks, there is some people arround distorting what he says.
I heard the comment from him directly at the TV, its the only thing I can say.
7th September 2008, 17:21
win was possible for Alonso, win would also be possible for Massa, same as podiums were within reach of Bourdais or Vettel … we are here in the “if if if” territory … well but speaking about Massa (or Kimi), I wonder what would Ross Brawn do …
and what if that rain that came down so hard right after podium ceremony came 10 mins earlier :-)
7th September 2008, 17:21
well, and Massa won … Hamilton penalised …
7th September 2008, 17:26
milos, where did you see that? the fia still has hamilton in first.
7th September 2008, 17:28
never mind. i see it now on another site. no way!
7th September 2008, 20:19
At least on spanish tv alonso didn´t told that, he said that if the tyre change would have been made earlier he would have been on the podium for sure, nothing else, he didn´t told anything regarding catching massa nor lewis.
He talked of the good points today for the run for the 4º place in constructors.
And of the difference in time between alonso and heidfeld, some seconds are from the pit stop, so he wouldn´t have gained them so i´m afraid that victory was beyond his possibilities, maybe second, but still very tough
7th September 2008, 23:44
If Alonso had pitted on the same lap as Heidfeld he would have won. The same could be said for Hamilton and Raikkonen…
8th September 2008, 10:20
Keith there is a mistake on the last para, Renault are on 36 points and not 24 and Toyota are on 41 not 36 :)
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
8th September 2008, 10:24
Hi Motorbeam – Yep that’s because this was written before the various penalites. The updated championship positions are here: Championship tables after the Belgian Grand Prix
8th September 2008, 10:28
Not sure he said that…. but I agree he would have won. He was only 28 seconds behind, and Hammy was 30 seconds slower.
8th September 2008, 10:33
Taking that Alonso would have made the same lap times that heidfeld i think he would fighting with massa in the last corner (more or less the same time) so maybe he could have won after the penalty to lewis, but lewis was unreachable.
And needless to say that if Alonso pitted maybe massa o Lewis could have pitted, i was amazed massa didn´t do it, as he had nothing to lose, alonso was almost 25 seconds away and lewis was far ahead when the rain began, just to be sure he would have made it to the end without too much problems
8th September 2008, 11:30
BMW made a great move rather than REN a mistake. In any case the maximum he could get was P2. For the record, ALO said to Spanish media that the team and himself took the decision to pit in that lap together.
8th September 2008, 15:16
Well, there were a lot of drivers who could have won this race. It was CRAZY ! ! Fernando was one of them, nothing more..
9th September 2008, 0:20
Well, Kubica might have had a shot at overtaking Massa just before the finish line hadn’t the crew botched his 2nd pit stop and consequently given Heidfeld (since he had a better position by then) the opportunity to switch tires. I can understand why he was so angry after the race saying BMW have been helping Heidfeld all season and someone could finally try to help him ;D
I’m just wondering… does that tell you anything in the light of all those rumours on who’s in and who’s out for the BMW seat for the next season… I’m sure Kubica would love to drive for Ferrari after Spa ;)
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