RACE DEBRIEF

    ‘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.

    MUST-SEE: Brave slick gamble goes wrong for Stroll as he hits the wall in Sprint Shootout at Spa

    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.”

    ‘It was my mistake’ – Alonso holds his hands up after spinning out of the Sprint

    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.

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    “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.