Start, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2018

Alonso: Rivals were “way too aggressive” at the start

2018 Canadian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso says his rivals were “way too aggressive” at the start of the Canadian Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver said he probably avoided being caught up in the collision between Brendon Hartley and Lance Stroll because he lost time due to contact with two other drivers.

“I think it was way too aggressive, the start,” said Alonso. “I had contact with Leclerc at the beginning and then with Sirotkin in the Williams.

“So I lost a couple of places. And then maybe thanks to those places I was not involved in the crash in front of me.

“I think there was too much contact in the first couple of corners. But this is Canada, this is part of the magic as well and we need to take care.”

Alonso moved up the order when the race restarted. But his second retirement in as many races meant he was unable to score points in his 300th Formula 1 weekend.

“It was fun at the beginning after the restart, we overtook three cars in two corners. Sergio [Perez] was on the grass sideways and coming back to the track so it was difficult to anticipate what line he [would take].

“At the end a retirement, an exhaust problem I think the team found out. We retired the car seventh in Monaco, 10th today. So that’s some points we lost in the last two races so we need to come back to the reliability we had at the beginning of the championship.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
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  • 12 comments on “Alonso: Rivals were “way too aggressive” at the start”

    1. That’s part of the nature of this track, being so narrow and with those first couple of corners allowing side by side action. It’s always hectic at the start here!

    2. Alonso seems patient. Last year, he was very vocal about issues with the car, but this time he changed his talk.

      1. He’s off. Mclaren will be racing IndyCars next year with Andretti.

        1. Don’t bet the house on that..

    3. I didn’t see Alonso’s onboard so maybe the bit where Sirotkin hit him was different, but it was Stroll who came charging past on his left at the start, making Alonso have to edge onto the grass slightly to avoid him. Either way, I imagine Alonso doesn’t care and couldn’t get out of there soon enough. McLaren really is awful just now…. can’t blame it on the engine any more, the chassis is at best 3rd worst on the grid I’d guess – above Williams and Sauber (just) but behind FI, Renault, Torro Rosso, Haas, and obviously the big three.

      1. @keithedin
        Wait, if they have the 3rd worst chassis on the grid, and they’re 5th in the Constructors’, how does that add up? Does that mean they’re lucky because they have the best engine by a country mile?

        Seriously though, while McLaren definitely deserve a fair share of criticism after their full-mouthed praise of their own chassis in the past, they’re not that terrible, either. They’re in the same league as Haas, Force India, Renault, Toro Rosso, and the balance between those teams keeps shifting from race to race. Some of that being due to the engine, possibly, with Force India and Haas having more grunt, while the Renault may be a tad more drivable. It’s obvious that McLaren’s chassis generates too much drag, as evidenced by speed trap figures and the poor performance compared to the other Renault-powered teams today. But I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Montreal is the track where a chassis shows its true face. In that respect, Barcelona is a lot more representative, and Alonso qualified 8th there, less than half a tenth keeping him from taking Best of the Rest honours. Still 9 tenths off the Red Bulls’ pace, though …

        1. Nase: A lot of those teams have thrown away many points through a combination of bad luck, team errors and driver mistakes, particularly Haas. I think Alonso has made a fair difference to the points tallies too because he is up there every weekend scrapping for what few points are available, where no other driver is as consistent, especially in the midfield teams (in my opinion anyway).

          However, my comment might be a bit harsh overall, as the Canada track definitely highlights the weaknesses in the McLaren, they are maybe not as bad on other tracks. As you rightly point out, the main problem with this chassis is incredibly high drag, their overall downforce seems quite decent meaning they do better in tracks dependent on that such as Spain, Monaco, Hungary.

    4. Showing his age maybe

    5. Alonso is done if he is talking like that, he is normally the best starter and therefore aggressive in his approach.
      I would rather see him go out in style than fade away, Indy for him next year seems a good option, he will do very well.

    6. Alonso overtook Leclerc shortly after their stops, but the director of the race decided not to show this. And there isn’t any footage still. I want to see how Alonso made it. It was one of the few manoeuvres on the track, and they manage to not show it.

      1. I don’t think he overtook him on track it was an undercut/overcut pass.

    7. Whiner Allnonsenso

    Comments are closed.