Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Miami International Autodrome, 2024

Alonso’s unusual brake problem and more unheard Miami team radio

Formula 1

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The Miami Grand Prix was a memorable one for several drivers – not least of which race winner Lando Norris.

But beyond the top spot, emotions were high across the field, from Esteban Ocon holding onto Alpine’s first point of the season to Oscar Piastri being left with a bittersweet feeling as damage dropped him out of the points.

Here are some of the most interesting team radio snippets from the Miami International Autodrome.

Jump to:

Hamilton and Hulkenberg’s shared problem
Perez’s near-miss
Alonso’s phantom brake press
Ocon’s “perfectly timed” VSC
Magnussen misses out at restart
Piastri’s unplanned pit stop
“No time” for Ocon switch change
“Well done to Lando”

Hamilton and Hulkenberg’s shared problem

The minutes before the formation lap before the start of a race give drivers and their engineers their final opportunity to go over those crucial details before they are committed to the grand prix.

Nico Hulkenberg was unhappy with the state of his rear-view mirrors and politely pointed that out to race engineer Gary Gannon.

Lap: 1/57 HUL: 1’40.159
Hulkenberg You good on radio, Gary?
Gannon Loud and clear. Nico. Four minutes till we go. Track temp is bouncing between 44C and 48C, depending on the [unclear]. Four minutes till we go. Four minutes.
Hulkenberg Four burnouts, yeah, you want? Four?
Gannon That’s correct, Nico.
Hulkenberg There is some shit on this mirror lens. It’s not clean. It’s patchy.
Hulkenberg Haas mechanics begin wiping his left-hand mirror
Like in the middle.

The driver one place ahead of Hulkenberg on the grid – Lewis Hamilton – had the same problem:

Lap: 1/57 HAM: 1’39.924
Bonnington And Lewis, just got you. Radio check?
Hamilton Yeah, loud and clear.
Bonnington Okay, thanks.
Hamilton There’s a lot of mediums around me..
Hamilton Can you just clean my mirrors, please? Mirrors are dirty.

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Perez’s near-miss

Start, Miami International Autodrome, 2024

At the start, Charles Leclerc did not get as good a start from second place as Max Verstappen ahead, or Carlos Sainz Jnr and Sergio Perez behind. However, Perez’s attempt to dive up the inside into turn one almost ended in disaster as he came within centimetres of hitting his team mate and pushed Sainz very wide in the process, allowing Leclerc to retain his second position through the first corners.

Lap: 1/57 LEC: 1’35.697
Leclerc Freaking hell, Perez…
Marcos Padros Yeah, copy that. We saw it.

In the opening laps, Hamilton and Hulkenberg put their freshly-cleaned mirrors to the test by battling each other over seventh place. Hamilton had held the position at the start but the Haas driver passed Hamilton with a bold move around the outside of the first corner on lap two.

Hamilton passed Hulkenberg into turn 10, but then locked up into the turn 17 hairpin and ran wide, handing the place back. The two drivers continued to spar for several laps, before Hamilton eventually got ahead on lap 10.

Lap: 6/57 HAM: 1’33.679
Bonnington So 0.6 ahead, 1.7 behind. So 1.9 behind still. Turn 17 exit, maybe think about magic.
Hamilton Okay.
Lap: 7/57 HAM: 1’34.466
Bonnington Think about strat mode ‘seven’ when you’re ready.
Hamilton Hamilton passes Hulkenberg into turn 11
We nearly just had a big crash there.
Bonnington Yeah, copy. We saw that. Hulkenberg 0.8 behind. You’ve got 3.5 ahead to Norris, still focus on that turn 17 exit.
Hamilton runs wide under braking for turn 17 and loses position
Lap: 8/57 HAM: 1’34.621
Hamilton Very poor grip on these tyres.
Bonnington Copy that.

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Alonso’s phantom brake press

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Miami International Autodrome, 2024

The majority of the field were planning to complete a single pit stop during the race, which required them not to burn through their starting tyre sets so they would not be left with too much distance to complete the second and final stint. But some drivers were experiencing vibrations on their medium tyres.

One of these was Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin, who had locked up his tyres early on. This had the unusual effect of causing vibrations in his brake pedal, so much so that Alonso’s telemetry led his team to incorrectly believe he was making small dabs on the brake pedal along the back straight approaching turn 17.

Lap: 4/57 ALO: 1’34.022
Cronin As Alonso exits turn 16
So, Fernando, last lap you touched the brake pedal. You’re resting your foot on the brake pedal down here. So just keep your brake pedal foot completely off when you don’t need it.
Lap: 6/57 ALO: 1’34.060
Cronin Left toggle off, please. Left toggle off. And just so you know, you are touching the brake very slightly when you open DRS, both straights.
Alonso No. Negative.
Cronin Okay understood. We’re just seeing a little bit of brake pressure, but we’ll find out what that is.
Lap: 8/57 ALO: 1’33.751
Cronin Fernando we think one click rearward brake balance is good. One click rearwards from where you are now.
Lap: 9/57 ALO: 1’34.006
Cronin Albon behind has lost DRS. If you can, avoid the exit kerb of eight, that is good for the tyres.
Lap: 11/57 ALO: 1’35.199
Cronin Can consider down one click diff high-speed.
Lap: 13/57 ALO: 1’34.657
Alonso Deployment is strange on the back straight, I think.
Cronin …brake pressure noise we can see.
Lap: 14/57 ALO: 1’34.618
Alonso Well… got a sensor fault or something?
Cronin Yeah, yeah. We’re trying mate, we’re trying. There’s not anything we can do it just yet.
Alonso It’s only there, or there are more places?
Cronin It’s only there and a little bit before 11, a little bit before 11.
Alonso Do you want me to press energy?
Cronin No, negative. Can you just try holding the brake pressure, holding the brake pedal by point… Like two bar, three bar, just to stop it bouncing? The brake pedal’s bouncing.
Lap: 15/57 ALO: 1’34.350
Cronin So that was a lot better Fernando. So if you could just hold your foot on the brake pedal just a little bit like that, 0.2 bar, 0.3 bar.
Alonso Only there isn’t it?
Cronin So you can do a little bit, we need it at the end of this straight. So at the end of this straight, for the last 200 metres, two bar on the brake pressure, that’ll be good. This straight is not as bad as the other straight.
Cronin So that’s good. That’s good.
Lap: 17/57 ALO: 1’34.260
Alonso Yeah, obviously not super happy with these tyres so think about strategy.

Ocon’s “perfectly timed” VSC

On lap 22, Max Verstappen had a twitch of oversteer heading into the chicane, which sent him across the kerb, striking the bollard as he went. The dislodged marker ended up being carried by the Red Bull around turn 16 before falling off and coming to a rest in the middle of the track at the start of the long back straight.

The Virtual Safety Car was eventually deployed and 10th-placed Esteban Ocon was able to take advantage of the opportunity to pit and lose less time as a result. This meant he lost only three places by pitting which would have likely been more under green flag conditions.

Lap: 21/57 OCO: 1’33.867
Peckett We’ve got a ‘track surface slippery’ warning, back straight. That could be debris.
Ocon Ocon passes bollard out of turn 16
Yeah, the bollard is in the middle of the track.
Peckett Understood. Safety Car windows are open, Esteban. Safety Car windows are open – both.
Lap: 22/57 OCO: 1’42.357
Peckett So, Esteban I think that bollard is on the racing line on the right hand side. You can get past it staying to the very far right.
Peckett Stick with It.
Peckett The Virtual Safety Car is deployed as Ocon exits turn 17
VSC! Box, box. VSC – box, box.
Ocon Esteban in.
Peckett Okay mate, it’s going to be a busy pit lane. Watch the lights, watch the lights. Hard tyre, one turn down.
Lap: 23/57 OCO: 1’51.928
Peckett Ocon leaves pit box
Okay, good. Okay, Esteban. Just positive on the delta. VSC ending – perfectly timed! Okay, let’s get ready for the restart.

A handful of laps later, Kevin Magnussen collided with Logan Sargeant at turn three, pitching the Williams into the wall and putting him out of the grand prix. Soon after, the full Safety Car was deployed, benefitting all of those who had not yet pitted, just like leader Lando Norris and Yuki Tsunoda, running in seventh, who was able to pit for hard tyres without losing any places.

There were no radio messages broadcast between Sargeant and his race engineer following the crash – perhaps reflecting the frustration of the Williams driver to be taken out of his home grand prix.

Lap: 28/57 TSU: 1’47.670
Spini Safety Car is deployed while Tsunoda exits turn 16
Safety Car. Safety Car. Follow the reference.
Tsunoda It’s good timing, no?
Spini It’s good timing. So stay close to zero and we are boxing. Box, box, Yuki. Box, box, box.

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Magnussen misses out at restart

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Miami International Autodrome, 2024

After colliding with Sargeant, Magnussen had to pit for a new front wing. He was then struck with a ten-second time penalty by the stewards for being “wholly to blame” for the clash. Haas chose to take the penalty under the Safety Car, but the race went green at the end of the next lap. Magnussen pushed to catch the pack, but was too late to reach the rear of the field before the race resumed.

Lap: 28/57 MAG: 2’26.123
Slade You’ve got front wing damage, Kev, you’ve got front wing damage.
Lap: 30/57 MAG: 1’43.269
Slade Track clear turns two and three. The problem we’ve got is Norris is well ahead of all the rest of the cars, so everyone’s going fast. So you’re still 22 seconds behind Bottas, he’s now seven seconds behind Stroll. Norris has just caught the Safety Car so the pack is going to start closing up shortly. And we have a 10-second time penalty. Mode ‘push’, Kev, mode ‘push’ to catch up with the pack.
Lap: 31/57 MAG: 1’40.373
Slade Box, box, box. We’re taking the penalty, Kev, we’re taking the penalty. So it’s a 10-second penalty.
Lap: 32/57 MAG: 1’55.086
Slade Magnussen leaves the pits after serving his penalty
We’re 30 seconds behind the pack and they are restarting at the end of this lap. Pack’s 21 seconds ahead. Norris is dropping back from the Safety Car. Gap is 16 seconds. Okay, you’re not going to catch them, they’re going. Gap ahead is 14 seconds.

Piastri’s unplanned pit stop

Oscar Piastri ran strongly throughout the race but a relatively late pit stop just before the Safety Car allowed his team mate to jump ahead of him into the lead. Piastri dropped to fourth between the two Ferraris.

After multiple laps of battling, Carlos Sainz Jnr passed the McLaren into the turn 17 hairpin but slid wide and clipped Piastri’s front wing, causing damage that forced the McLaren to pit.

Lap: 40/57 PIA: 1’40.795
Piastri Sainz passes Piastri after contact
There’s a massive vibration.
Stallard Copy.
Stallard We see front wing damage. We see front wing damage. So we think we should box and replace the front wing.
Piastri I feel like I have more than front wing damage but I have a massive vibration.
Stallard So we’ll box this lap, Oscar. Box this lap.
Piastri Copy, box.
Lap: 41/57 PIA: 1’53.723
Stallard And launch map. Launch map.
Stallard So we’ve replaced the front wing. We removed some debris from the rear wing. Let’s see if the vibration’s cleared up.
Piastri Yeah, vibration’s gone now.
Lap: 43/57 PIA: 1’30.634
Stallard So Oscar that that was purple. Lando last lap 31.0. Magnussen four seconds. We don’t want to take any risks with contact on these cars you’re going to have to drive through.

Once the race restarted on lap 33, none of the 19 drivers intended to pit again before the end of the race. A few DRS trains formed throughout various points in the pack, but the biggest one was behind Alexander Albon in 13th.

Daniel Ricciardo was one of the cars behind the Williams and he struggled to be able to make progress due to the dirty air effect.

Lap: 46/57 RIC: 1’32.845
Hamelin Okay, Daniel, where’s the limitations? How can we help you?
Ricciardo Mostly it’s just dirty air. Just the exits and the straight line’s a struggle.
Hamelin Okay. Copy. So others are able to run closer to each other and we are struggling on exit.
Ricciardo Yeah so that’s the front. When I get really close, the front goes and I lose the rear on exit.
Hamelin Okay, use your switches please. Let’s try different things. Push toggle last corner. Let’s be proactive and try to find solutions.

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“No time” for Ocon switch change

The final part of the race was a straightforward affair with only three position changes inside the top ten places across the final 25 laps of the race. One of these was Ocon losing ninth to Alonso.

Alpine tried to give Ocon more power on his power unit, but he was too concerned with watching out for Alonso in his mirrors to defend.

Lap: 43/57 OCO: 1’32.280
Peckett Okay mate, 14 laps to go at the end of this one. Fourteen laps.
Lap: 45/57 OCO: 1’33.348
Peckett Alonso is stalking Ocon within DRS range
Esteban, fail-B ‘0-0, OK’ – extra performance.
Ocon No time!
Lap: 46/57 OCO: 1’33.497
Ocon When you can, fail-B ‘0-0 OK’. Extra performance.
Lap: 48/57 OCO: 1’33.946
Ocon I’m running out of battery…
Peckett Okay, mate, stick with it. We need to watch for Hulkenberg, who is another 2.5 seconds behind Fernando as well.
Peckett Alonso passes Ocon
Okay, let’s try and stick with Fernando’s DRS. Nine laps to go at the end of this one.

Although Ocon lost out to Alonso and was being caught by Hulkenberg, putting his and his team’s first point of the season in jeopardy, the Alpine driver managed to keep his pace up enough to lead the Haas to the line by just over a second.

Lap: 55/57 OCO: 1’32.146
Peckett Three laps to go.
Lap: 56/57 OCO: 1’32.136
Peckett Two laps to go.
Lap: 57/57 OCO: 1’32.467
Peckett Last lap. Last lap. Single press overtake available now and after [turn] 16.
Chequered flag
Peckett And that’s the chequered flag. Well done, mate. P10. First point. Let’s go to scenario-12, please and be saving fuel on the way around. Okay mate, well done.
Peckett Yeah, sorry. I need to take my breath. I know we should not be happy for P10, but yeah, we fought for that one. Yeah, yeah. Let’s go get some more.
Peckett Absolutely. Okay, so we’ll be driving off line all the way around, please. Okay and a drinks reminder as well. Hopefully it’s still cold…

“Well done to Lando”

The chequered flag at the end of the race saw Norris claim his first grand prix victory of his career and McLaren’s first win since the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, while Piastri came home 14th on the road after his late pit stop. Amid the whooping and cheering on the McLaren pit wall, Piastri’s engineer Tom Stallard commiserated with his driver who had put in a strong performance across the weekend despite not having the same level of upgrades that his race winning team mate enjoyed.

Chequered flag
Stallard Okay, Oscar. P13. P13. Can I have recharge ‘on’, ACS ‘off’.
Stallard Sounds of cheering in background
Mate, frustrating afternoon for you. You drove better than that result – much better than that result. The positive is that the stuff that went wrong isn’t on you. The other car won the race, drove away from Verstappen for the whole of the last stint – won by nearly eight seconds. And you’ve got that in Imola.
Piastri Yeah. Yeah, well done on the win, everyone. We really deserve that, so congratulations. Well done to Lando – first win. Very, very well done. Yep. Feel like we deserve a lot more. I hold my hand up – I’m sorry. It was a shit second half of the race.

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2024 Miami Grand Prix

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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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4 comments on “Alonso’s unusual brake problem and more unheard Miami team radio”

  1. Alonso’s phantom brake press

    Is this the latest “explanation” for him slowing drastically in front of Russell in Austrailia, and the heavy braking in China that rippled down the line and ended with Stroll hitting the back of Ricciardo?

    1. I would say that a car that is micro braking by itself is a danger to others.

    2. Combined with alleged “wrist problems”, which suddenly was reminded after 2 years (it didn’t cause an issue on Friday, but became an issue on Saturday in China), it became really dangerous.

  2. when companies cease having to compete, they have all the incentive in the world to over charge for inferior products.

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