Valtteri Bottas, Fernando Alonso, Las Vegas, 2023

Alonso “thought it was over” after spinning at first corner

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso feared his race was over after spinning at the first corner in Vegas

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In brief

Alonso “thought race was over” after turn one spin

Fernando Alonso admitted the thought his Las Vegas Grand Prix was over after he spun at the first corner.

The Aston Martin driver started ninth on the grid but dived up the inside of Logan Sargeant and Valtteri Bottas into the first corner, before losing control and spinning where he was hit by the Alfa Romeo. Alonso would eventually finish in the points in ninth.

“I didn’t see the TV yet and I still need to watch what happened,” he told media including RaceFans. “I lost the car.

“I don’t know if I was in a sandwich between two cars or if I was alone – I don’t know yet. I thought it was over when I saw the Alfa Romeo and I was facing the wrong way, so I’m happy with the final result and scoring some points.”

Bottas stuck by illness

Valtteri Bottas was suffering with an illness throughout the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend.

The Alfa Romeo driver qualified seventh but fell to the back of the field after he was hit by Sergio Perez in the first corner melee, then made contact with Alonso. Bottas eventually finished the race in 17th position.

“It was not great,” Bottas said. “I got this stomach bug a few days ago and it kept getting worse until last night.

“Yesterday was the worst, today was actually better. But that was not the most fun weekend for me in the end with what happened in the race.”

Macau win “one of my biggest achievements” – Browning

Williams junior driver Luke Browning described winning the Formula 3 World Cup at the Macau Grand Prix as one of the “biggest achievements of my career”.

The 21-year-old won the prestigious F3 race from pole position during an eventful race, winning ahead of F2 racer Dennis Hauger and Gabriele Mini in third in a field including former two-time Macau winner Dan Ticktum and IndyCar racer Marcus Armstrong.

“Words can’t describe this victory,” Browning said. “The standard here, these incredible drivers, I’m super grateful. For a young guy driving fast cars it’s a dream come true.

“I had all four wheels locking next to Dennis. It was tight, but it’s arguably one of the biggest achievements of my career. Like most racing drivers, I’m lucky to be here. Every time I get into the car, I’m pinching myself.”

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Comment of the day

With the first ever Las Vegas Grand Prix in the books, StefMeister has mixed feelings about F1’s first event along the famous Las Vegas Strip…

I struggle to know how to rate it as while there was some good racing going on I just found that I was never really able to get that into it.

I have also just at no point of the weekend especially enjoyed watching any of the track action as this track simply isn’t very enjoyable to watch. I just don’t think it’s a very good track. It just feels lifeless and doesn’t get me excited or hyped and that takes a lot of the enjoyment out of things for me.

I think I’ve said this before but my enjoyment of races and circuits isn’t just about the racing, but also about how enjoyable watching that racing happen is as cars circulate. This, like most of the other newer street circuits, just isn’t very enjoyable to watch. I, for example, enjoy watching duller races at tracks like Imola, Magny-Cours and Monaco far more than I have more action-filled races at Saudi Arabia, Russia, Abu Dhabi & Las Vegas today because just watching the cars drive around those older circuits is more enjoyable.

I think a middle of the road 5/10 is maybe where I’m at. Not bad in terms of racing but also just not a very enjoyable circuit.

And I’ll just stay quiet on all the surrounding showbiz nonsense as I can’t stand any of that. I think I’ll just say that I agree with everything Max Verstappen has said regarding all that.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Mark Young and Drew!


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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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18 comments on “Alonso “thought it was over” after spinning at first corner”

  1. I bet the hype of this will lower next year. The track will have more grip and just like Baku, if a track does not generate errors, then it will be a boring race. Many cars were out of position in this race and also many mistakes.

    1. I doubt it @krichelle, as this race was actually ok, they’ll hype the heck out of it again to try keep eyeballs on the event.

  2. I reckon there’s some rosy retrospection bias in the CotD… That age is the primary variable correlating to what’s good or bad at least indicates it.

    I think the track layout was objectively good because if someone did a dive up the inside of 1-2 it could be punished through 3-4 and set up another counter through 5 for the final decider at 9. This is the best kind of racing. Strategic, punishing, lunge, riposte kind of racing. Credit where credits due we saw that quite a few times. The DRS bit I think was less interesting, and the camera angle there didn’t help at all.

    The only thing really I think that could have made the layout itself more interesting is some elevation and camber, it was all very flat. The temps and lack of grip were surprisingly not such a big deal, only really mentioned under safety car, so good to know the operating window extends quite low to essentially be not a concern.

    I’m looking forward to coming back, I think it was good, all in all. I can imagine if the title isn’t wrapped up making for some extremely feisty racing.

    1. After FP1, I was hoping for an embarrassing weekend for F1 and Liberty. But FP2 was enjoyable and so was quali and the race. The glitz of Las Vegas has never impressed me and I’ll never go there but I actually thought the racing was good.

    2. I read and reread CotD. Considering the unenthusiastic undertone (or perhaps I should say overtone), the 5/10 is quite generous.

      But very much like StefMeister did not gel with the race, I couldn’t not correlate the race with CotD. Sure, there were many factors that helped on this particular occasion that may not in future years (first time running, safety cars, cars out of position etc etc), but objectively it was an entertaining race that did provide some challenge to the drivers, gave opportunity for overtaking, allowed cars to show their speed, was not a ‘track limits’ fest, and may possibly evolve over time with some tweaks here and there.

      Is it the best circuit…. no. Do I like the glitz and hype….no. Do I like the classic tracks and nostalgia… yes. But I’d be hard pushed to deny it was an entertaining race, and that entertainment did not seem to be hampered by the track.

      Of course only time will reveal if we are regularly looking forward to the LVGP, or negatively comparing future races there to the first.

  3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    20th November 2023, 2:16

    An uncharacteristic but pretty big mistake by Alonso.

    1. And pretty ridiculous that he didn’t get a penalty considering it wrecked Bottas’ race.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        20th November 2023, 12:56

        @f1frog yeah, if it wasn’t Alonso, he would have received one for sure.

    2. Probably the oil left in the track by a leaking parade car had something to do with that. Anyway this kind of mishaps are rarely penalized in the opening to T1 especially if the guilty part gets no advantage.

  4. Savage dig at Masi.

    1. notagrumpyfan
      20th November 2023, 6:59

      It clearly still hurts.
      And it seems he didn’t read the final report yet.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      20th November 2023, 13:06

      @jerejj but he’s wrong – the sport is clearly in favor of Verstappen more so now than in Abu Dhabi 2021.

      Verstappen can get away with murder and Horner and Max can even joke about it on the radio which is even more alarming. In fact, we have been conditioned to accept the new rulebook for Verstappen.

      A lot of people feel that Real Madrid gets special treatment in soccer matches, they clearly haven’t watched F1 over the past few years.

      Clearly Red Bull has some “muscle” and the stewards are very afraid of even investigating any of Verstappen’s incidents, much less issuing a real penalty which is why they’re a joke.

      I don’t recall anyone laughing at the stewards’s decisions in the past.

      Anyone send the stewards my regards and make sure you flush before you leave them.

  5. Agree with the cotd, the racing was decent. But the track pretty awful from a viewing perspective, its hard to even see the cars, lts narrow, very grey and fences everywhere, they could aswell be in an industrial area (if it wasnt for that crazy globe :) ). A Daytime race would be better from that perspective and make the track look less dull and look like it was actually in vegas, and less like the other “fence” races.

  6. So the campaign against Monaco has begun along side the lobbying for Reverse Grids. Expect to see more of this over the coming months. Keep an eye out for anti-Monaco rhertoric build.

    1. No, the campaign against Monaco hasn’t just begun. It’s been justifiably going for decades, and is gradually becoming more obvious to more people that it simply isn’t a suitable venue for a modern F1 car show, never mind actually holding a race meeting there with them.
      Leave it for the historics and FE – they all fit on the track, at least.

      As for reverse grids – well, nobody’s forcing you to watch F1. You could skip any part you don’t like.

  7. Las Vegas is a fantastic track. It’s basically an improved Monza.
    It’s not a Tilkedrom with a mandatory turn or hairpin of each kind. It’s got character, centered around fantastic long straights with nice kinks, almost reminding me of the good old Hockenheim… well maybe not, but certainly of Monza.
    The layout is pretty much perfect for a street track.

    The race is gonna be a highlight of every season!

  8. With a competent race director in place, let’s observe how gracefully he manages losing the 2nd position to Ferrari. My prediction is he’ll maintain his usual level of saltiness.

    1. And I’ll be especially pleased to watch Merc lose it to the Scuderia at Yas Marina after they forced the undeserved penalty on Carlos

Comments are closed.