Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso collide, Circuit of the Americas, 2022

Alonso explains why he feared IndyCar-style crash but does not blame Stroll for collision

2022 United States Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso said he feared a huge crash after he was launched off the back of Lance Stroll’s car during the United States Grand Prix.

But the Alpine driver defended Stroll, his future team mate, after the stewards blamed him for the collision.

The pair made contact following a restart on lap 22 of the race. Alonso moved left to overtake Stroll as the accelerated along the back straight out of turn 11.

Stroll also moved left, and the front of Alonso’s A522 hit the Aston Martin’s left-rear wheel. That lifted Alonso’s car into the air and sent him towards a barrier on the left-hand side of the track.

Speaking to media including RaceFans after the race, Alonso described how he feared hitting the fence while still in the air and suffering the kind of crash seen on IndyCar ovals.

“It was not nice because when you are up in the air obviously you are not aware of where you are on track,” he said. “I felt that I was much more on the left, and obviously if you catch the lateral fence, the metallic one, then you spin in the air 360.

“You see this kind of accidents a lot in IndyCar and they are quite dangerous. So I thought that I was ending up on that fence.”

The stewards blamed Stroll for the collision, handing him a three-place grid penalty for this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix. They ruled he “made a late move in reacting to the overtaking attempt” of Alonso “by moving to the left”.

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However after speaking to the stewards with Stroll, Alonso said he does not believe his rival made his move in reaction to his attempt to overtake.

Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2022
Gallery: 2022 United States Grand Prix in pictures
“Honestly, when you see the thing on the TV I think it’s a racing incident to be honest,” he said. “We moved basically at the same time to the left and that was the trigger of everything. So I think it was a very unfortunate moment for everyone.”

“When you are at 300kph, those movements in one tenth of a second you move 200 metres,” he explained. “So if you see a slow motion and you go frame-by-frame, he will move a little bit later than me. If you go with normal speed, you see both cars more or less at the same time. So that’s why after looking on TV, I think there’s nothing you can do different.”

Alonso will join Stroll at his father’s Aston Martin team next year. He said the relationship between the pair is good.

“We’ve known each other for for a long time, we were okay now in the stewards’ room. I think it was more between our sporting directors than between us that I think we saw the the incident with same eyes and our sporting directors they were seeing it in a completely different eye.”

Following the crash Alonso was astonished to discover he was able to continue in the race. “When the car landed on track I thought, okay, this is all safe [but] the car for sure is going to be broken,” he said. “I drove slowly to the pits thinking that we will retire the car.

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“I was surprised when they changed the tyres and the front wing and sent me out. I said, okay, it’s just a test, they will call me in the next lap or whatever. But no, the car apparently was okay when they checked it visually, everything was fine, so we kept going.”

He went on to finish the race in seventh position. However the stewards later handed him a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, converted after the race into a 30-second time penalty, because his Alpine team allowed him to continue driving with a broken wing mirror which eventually fell off. That left him 15th in the final result.

Pictures: Alonso and Stroll’s United States Grand prix collision

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Author information

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...
RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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15 comments on “Alonso explains why he feared IndyCar-style crash but does not blame Stroll for collision”

  1. Helloooo team mate. Helloooooo new boss!

    1. +1. absolutely! disgusting..

    2. Bingo. If it was anyone else, Alonso would be camping out in the steward’s office.

  2. yeah, i am a bit disappointed now. Had it been Hamilton, Fernando would have called him an idiot on the radio and then after the race. I always get so irritated about this. I am a 100% sure Fernando has in his contract, that he can not swear about Stroll on the radio, in any interview, has to praise him at every opportunity and i don’t what else. Sad to see Seb end his career, but happy he won’t be a part of this clown show anymore.

    1. probably on the radio yes, but after the race they’d have made up and alonso would have another signed cap to add to his collection

  3. I was wondering how spicy Alonso would be when speaking with the media considering it was Stroll

  4. When you are at 300kph, those movements in one tenth of a second you move 200 metres

    let me see:
    300kph => 300,000m/hour => 5,000m/minute => 83m/sec => 8m every ‘one tenth of a second’
    merely off by a factor 25 ;)

    1. Was thinking the same, sure they move fast, but that was exagerated.

  5. Imagine if it was Hamilton

  6. see belguim

  7. RandomMallard
    24th October 2022, 14:48

    I think all involved are very lucky. I was thinking after the race how many different ways that incident could have been so much worse. Any one of the drivers behind them could have collected Stroll or Alonso at very high speed, that debris could have rained down on someone and hit them very hard, Alonso’s car could have been caught by the air underneath and ended up like a Mark Webber in Valencia or Scott Dixon at Indy kind of crash, Alonso could have hit the wall much harder, at a sharper angle or hit the end of the fence (as Brundle briefly mentioned iirc), just to name a few. And of course you could identify how an incident could be worse for many crashes in F1, but this one just seemed to be a remarkably lucky escape considering everything that did, and possibly more importantly didn’t, happen.

    But at the end of the day I think it was predominantly Stroll’s fault. I don’t think he did it deliberately, or was deliberately blocking him off that late, I just think his situational awareness was somewhat lacking.

    1. yes it’s moronic to have opened fenced like this, they should make them oblique so that incoming cars will slide on them, instead of facing a fence. As usual the FIA keeps saying they think in terms of safety first, but they always wait for an incident to change the way they operate.

  8. Good that something that looked pretty shocking at the time ends in mirth, with him being extra nice to his new boss’s family… wonder how long that’ll last?

    “When they checked it visually, everything was fine”

    …probably a good time to switch teams, then.

  9. Those that actually think Alonso would say something just to appease his new teammate/boss are hilarious.

    Fernando is one of the guys who always says what he thinks & isn’t afraid to hold back just because it’s his team mate/future team mate. Listen to his criticism of Ocon in Hungary for instance.

    End of the days fans will always just take there own view and often just completely ignore what drivers say if it goes against what they think is the case.

    I think Fernando’s take on this is a sensible and correct one. When you look at things frame by frame in slow motion and from multiple angles things will always look a bit worse because you have time to analyse it. When your in the moment at those speeds it’s a different situation and when you understand that you often have a different view on some things.

    But no of course fans on the interwebs know best.

  10. José Lopes da Silva
    24th October 2022, 20:01

    I can’t believe that no one wrote the word “amateurs” in this article text nor comments, especially given the now-established tradition of an Alonso-Stroll colision at COTA.

Comments are closed.