‘My mistake’ – Alonso reflects on Sprint crash at the end of costly Saturday for Aston Martin
Fernando Alonso capped off a challenging Saturday at Spa-Francorchamps for Aston Martin with a crash in the Sprint that saw him ruled out of the 100km encounter – with the Spaniard shouldering the blame on what was his 42nd birthday.
Team mate Lance Stroll had already racked up a hefty bill for the team when a gamble to try slicks in the second segment of the Sprint Shootout – which sets the grid for the Sprint – backfired, leaving the Canadian’s car in the wall at Turn 9.
Once the Sprint got under way late on Saturday afternoon, Alonso was just a few corners further down the track at Pouhon when he dipped a wheel onto the kerbs and spun into the gravel on Lap 3 of 11.
“My mistake,” said Alonso, who’d been running in P16 behind Nico Hulkenberg at the time. “I touched the kerb, or the white line or whatever, and I lost the car. I was very close to Nico, so I lost a little bit of rhythm into that corner.
“We were out of the points anyway – I think today, impossible to be in the top eight, so if one time you have to have a DNF, maybe better today than any other day.”
Asked how tricky the conditions had been, Alonso replied: “It was tricky obviously. We’ve been, the whole weekend, finding the grip and guessing what the grip is in each of the corners.
“Every lap, the track improvement is massive. It was tricky also with all the cars – visibility was obviously different to qualifying, so it was tricky.”
With Stroll winding up P11 in the Sprint, Alonso’s crash capped off a point-less Saturday for the Aston Martin squad – with points for the top eight drivers handed out in the Sprint – with Alonso and Stroll set to start Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix in P9 and P10.