Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Paul Ricard, 2022

Alonso “a little bit surprised” to beat McLarens after qualifying deficit

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso was pleasantly surprised by his car’s pace in the French Grand Prix after qualifying half a second off Lando Norris’s McLaren.

In brief

Alpine pace surprises Alonso

Alonso admitted he was “a little bit surprised” to lead the midfield home at Paul Ricard after Norris’s strong showing in the upgraded McLaren.

“We saw on Friday in the long runs as well we were quite okay on the sustainable lap,” he told RaceFand and other media in France on Sunday. “So we seemed that we missed a little bit of the one-lap performance here this weekend. So we need to fix that.

“Obviously, Budapest is going to be crucial to have a good Saturday. It was a good surprise today, the car.”

“It was a well-executed race from our side,” he added. “We were a little bit concerned at the beginning of the weekend that our pace was not great, but we ended up just behind the top three teams like in our normal position so far this year: top seven, top six, when there are retirements in front of us. Today it was Leclerc. So we benefit from that, top six, and I think a very solid race.”

Ferrucci on standby to replace Newgarden

Josef Newgarden has been released from hospital following his fall at Iowa on Sunday. It occured after he had been released from the infield care centre, where he had been taken following the crash which ended his race.

Penske has confirmed that if Newgarden does not pass a medical evaluation by IndyCar on Thursday his place at this weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be taken by Santino Ferrucci. If that happens, it will be the fourth team Ferrucci has driven for this year, joining RLL, Dreyer & Reinbold and Juncos Hollinger.

Ferrucci has made 43 IndyCar starts, the first of which came at Detroit in 2018, shortly after his controversial departure from Formula 2 in which he was banned by the series and fired by his team.

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Comment of the day

There was little sympathy in the comments for George Russell’s insistence Sergio Perez should have made way for him when they tangled at the chicane during the French Grand Prix.

I could maybe agree with Russell’s POV, except that he ran right to the outside white line, leaving no room on track for Perez. If his argument is that Perez owes him room on the inside, then the next step is that George owes Perez room on the outside too.

Sorry George, I think you are wrong here and Perez deserved to keep the position.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Unitedkingdomracing, Oscar Jean Diaz Bustamante and Paolo!

On this day in motorsport

  • 30 years ago today Nigel Mansell won the German Grand Prix despite cutting one of the Hockenheimring’s chicanes as he passed Ayrton Senna

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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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21 comments on “Alonso “a little bit surprised” to beat McLarens after qualifying deficit”

  1. Russell could have left Checo room on exit if he wasn’t squeezed in the braking zone into straight lining the corner. Russell committed 100% to the pass/brakes, and Checo left him no option with his defense. IMO it was a racing incident and Checo played it smartly, ensuring he would be “forced” off the track.

    1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
      26th July 2022, 0:41

      I have some sympathy to this – I call it the “football” argument because it’s how a football match would be refereed – Russell was “fouled” first so it’s his free kick, regardless of the fact that he “fouled” Perez himself afterwards by forcing him wide.

      But I’m not sure if that principle is universally applicable in the rules of motor racing. Under some circumstances you would say your competitor’s unfair action absolves you of blame for what follows, but whether that’s fair in this case seems a judgement call to me.

      1. Unlike in football there are no stoppages in F1 for ‘fouls’, so you cannot disregard what happens afterwards.

      2. Oh boy, you are so wrong.

    2. Russell shouldn’t be entering the corner so fast that he can’t leave space for the car he is attempting to overtake….

      They were both playing games with each other – or, more to the point – they were both playing the rules against each other.
      Settle in – this is the way of the future.

      1. It’s like you didn’t even read the comment. If Checo had not squeezed Russell, there would have been room for both through the corner. Even at the extreme angle Russell was left with, he still made the corner without going over track limits on exit.

        1. I read it – I just don’t agree with you.
          I don’t believe that Russell, having braked so late, could have left enough space for Perez. Not even if Perez had stayed on the ‘normal’ line.

          1. Looking at Perez on board….he was never going to make the corner anyway at that angle/speed.

          2. That’s probably true too, @asanator – but Russell didn’t leave him the option to find out.

        2. Squeezing someone on the entry is fine so long as you leave space. Running someone off is literally ‘strictly prohibited’, so Russell was definitely not going to be given that place by the stewards. Whether or not it was a good defense by Pérez is another matter, but the only one who did something actionable by the steward was Russell.

  2. To an extent, yes, & I reckon Alpine will finish the season in P4 now that they’re ahead.

    Everyone can probably guess I disagree with COTD based on all my posts concerning the PER-RUS incident, but pointless to argue anymore.

    1. Yeah, I think Ricciardo will cost McLaren P4 this season.

      Even if he finds late season form, it’s probably too late.

      1. You could kind of say the same for alpine. Alonso has lost around 40 or 50 points this season. Has the car been more reliable I think alpine would be clear 4th by now and there would only be a fight if ricciardo was matching norris every weekend. Both teams have lost so many points

  3. Let’s face it, McLaren have given up on this season and the people that designed the car keep their jobs for future failures to come.

  4. CotD missing (as did many) that Perez moved across under braking, which caused Russell to have to take evasive action, meaning he couldn’t stop as quickly as he otherwise would. Therefore, Perez contributed to his own lack of space. How much by is an opinion, but he did something you’re not allowed to do in the rules and should have been pulled up for it in some way, even if not having to give the place back. The fact he didn’t give back his time advantage from cutting the corner is slightly odd as well.

    1. CotD missing (as did many) that Perez moved across under braking

      Perez made one consistent defensive move to the centre of the track that began well prior to the braking point.
      Nothing illegal there.

      And the big point of reference is that Perez left space for Russell on entry, however Russell did not leave space for Perez on exit.
      If Russell had made the corner cleanly and left a car width – or even a few inches – on exit, he would probably have forced a penalty on Perez for gaining an advantage off track.

      1. Why is it in this instance people seem to think that space needs to be left on exit but earlier on in the season we see many cars be pushed out wide cause they are “on the racing line”.

        I agree if space has to be given on entry then it should be same on exit. It’s just that it amazes me people care about it here and nothing mentioned earlier on in season with similar moves.

        1. When, @rob8k?

          There will always be people who argue each side of everything…

          1. I mean, you could pick any one of the incidents in Silverstone between Perez/Leclerc/Hamilton. Russell/Verstappen in Spain, Alonso/Ocon in Saudi or Stroll/Bottas in Australia. Those are just ones I remember for now.

          2. Yeah, fair enough.
            I don’t expect that the FIA will ever be consistent in their interpretations of rules and incidents, and I expect even less consistency from the general audience.

      2. I guess it depends on how you define space on the inside, is it to the white line, the kerbs or the bollard?

        Perez left half a car’s width to the line at the apex which left Russel on the kerbs, Russell obv expected more and the rules might support that view.

        Bit of a Max move by George to me and a good example of how the rules in how they’re written can make for ugly tangles. Perez could have been compliant but I don’t see how he’s expected to know that a car behind will get that far up on the inside and have to widen their planned entry angle to accommodate. I say Max move as guys know that he’ll be there and the option is for other drivers to get out of the way, not great imo but the rule wording does support it on the inside at least.

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