Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Albert Park, 2022

Alonso “speechless” after missed chance for podium finish

2022 Australian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso says Alpine missed a chance to score a podium finish in Australia after a series of misfortunes.

He started from tenth place after a hydraulic failure caused him to crash during qualifying. The timing of a Safety Car period worked against him in the race, and he had to make a second pit stop which left him well outside the points.

“We were looking for P6 or P7 starting on the hard tyre on the reverse [strategy],” he told Sky. “[But] the safety car in the wrong moment of the race was our killer.”

He believes he was quick enough to beat George Russell, who was promoted onto the podium after Max Verstappen’s retirement.

“I’m a little bit speechless because I think today we could have been on the podium, to be honest,” said Alonso. “If we qualified third or fourth yesterday with Max out, George on the podium, I think we’ve been a little bit faster than the Mercedes this weekend. So we lost an opportunity here and also in Jeddah when we were doing a very good race.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Australian Grand Prix in pictures
“So it seems the way it is at the moment, a little bit unlucky, so 20 races to go, in some of them I will be super lucky, I guess.”

Despite Alpine’s strong performance this weekend, Alonso isn’t taking it for granted they will be competitive at the next round in Imola.

“I think it’s going to be a real test for us because it’s quite slower compared to the last two events, and we will see if we can keep this performance. But I think we need to see also in Imola, we will see some upgrades for everyone, I guess. So we will see how fast we can be.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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17 comments on “Alonso “speechless” after missed chance for podium finish”

  1. Sorry Fred, dice have no memory

    1. Good, and true one about gambling. Although I am sad for him, a well nailed strategy for him could have added some excitement to this GP.

  2. Strong performance from Alonso but what happened after the pitstop. I expected him to make up places with the medium tyres but he dropped back and then pitted again or did I miss something? It looks like the tyres and tyre managment are going to be a huge factor this year and the SC again.

    1. I think the DRS train behind Stroll leaves Alonso no space to overtake after the SC period

    2. Graining in his left front tyre, probably because he pushed it a little too much to overtake at the beginning of that stint. In hind sight, I think he should have stopped during the 1st safety car for mediums and pit again for hards during the virtual safety car, or do an Albon.

  3. Also:

    Why didn’t they pit him under the safe yet car?

    Why didn’t they leave him longer like Albon?

    When he came in for the 2nd stop why didn’t they put him on softs?

    Really poor from Alpine this weekend.

  4. Promising performance from Alpine but obviously it didn’t amount to much. It could have been so different if the safety car was 10 laps or so later. As it was, Fernando was kinda left in no-mans land where he likely wouldn’t have been able to get to the end safely on mediums and instead was snookered to sticking with the hards with no gap to pit. Surely he’ll snag a podium or two at some point if it all comes together.

  5. Why didn’t they put him under safety car. What a sad outcome after being Infront of Leclercs pole lap in sector 2 by nearly 2 tenths yesterday

    1. If he destroyed his mediums in the Stroll train, can’t see how they would’ve lasted that many more laps, even in clear air.

    2. There’s some revisionist history going on about this. Alonso was 2-tenths quicker than the sector 2 time of Leclerc’s banker time, not the pole lap. Given that Leclerc improved by 0.4 seconds on his final lap, and that Alpine were losing a lot of time in Sector 3, pole was out of the question. A mega lap might have allowed him to pip one of the Red Bulls, but most likely he would have been P4 at the end.

      1. @wsrgo as you note, Alonso’s final sector times were consistently a lot weaker than his first and second sector times, where he was pretty average (quite literally, as his best third sector time was only 11th fastest).

        His third sector times were in the order of 0.6-0.7s slower than front runners like Leclerc, around 0.4s off Norris and 0.2s off the Mercedes drivers. Realistically, he wasn’t going to beat the Red Bull drivers – he wasn’t faster than them in the first sector and, as his middle sector was only a couple of hundredths faster, he was always losing far more time in the final sector than he gained elsewhere – whilst Norris and the two Mercedes drivers were probably just about fast enough in the final sector to have beaten Alonso, given the amount of time he tended to lose in that sector.

        That does seem to suggest starting in 6th or 7th on the grid is a more realistic prospect, maybe 5th at a push, but a higher grid slot looks a bit optimistic. Similarly, as you note, his race pace wasn’t great – whilst starting further up the field might have given him more options, I’d agree that it looks like he probably couldn’t have maintained that pace in race trim and is more likely to have gone backwards in the race anyway.

        1. Well, he should have been able to put a second lap in which would have put him closer to Norris territory. The banker alone yes, would likely not have been enough to go beyond P6 or P7.

  6. I don’t think Alonso had any race pace whatsoever. He was stuck behind traffic early on, then lost places far more easily than Magnussen after the safety car, and did a poor job with managing his mediums. It feels to me like he focused too much on quali pace and sacrificed long-run performance like in Bahrain, and opposite to Jeddah. He’s still unfortunate, but I don’t think the poor reliability can hide that in terms of all-round performance, he seems to have declined a bit since his return.

  7. I think if F1 wants to spice up the strategy by delivering non-adjacent tyre compounds to a race, then they should not bring C5, C3, and C2. But C5, C3 and C1, or C4, C3, and C1. That would stir it more :D
    These cars still like the hardest compounds on long runs, the softest 3 are often not very durable. so I would be honest and choose the hardest ones, although I am ok with having non-adjacent compounds as an idea. Maybe having the hardest vs C3 could give enough sustained pace difference to get rid DRS (and to encourage different pit strategies) .

  8. I fell asleep on lap 40 something, and then woke up again on the last lap and saw pretty much no changes other than Alonso had dropped to the back. So I’m guessing that’s the unplanned pit stop that did that. A bit weird because I thought he would’ve blasted through into the points quite easily after he first pitted.

  9. “Karma!!!”

    1. @Turbo

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