Fernando Alonso’s pace abandoned him at the start of the Azerbaijani Grand Prix, with the Spaniard falling like a rock, breaking out of the top 10 and drifting away from points. But a late bet to take the softs – then an aggressive approach to the two-round shootout after the red flag saw him snatch a brilliant sixth …
Alpine received a heavy blow when Esteban Ocon retired with a loss of power as the race had just four laps and their scoring hopes looked bleak as Alonso struggled for pace and moved from P8 to P13 during the race.
READ MORE: Perez beats Vettel in Baku win after Verstappen collapses late in the lead
But the red flag of Max Verstappen’s crash, following a punctured tire, neutralized the race and when they left Alonso regained four places in two laps to achieve his best F1 result in three. years and a half.
“We have a good pace in a two-lap race,” he said with a smile. “It was fun. It was exciting to have a few battles. Everyone was aggressive knowing that there were only two laps and that there was no need to worry about the tires.
“It was fun. I think we had a good weekend here in Baku. Being 10th was too little reward for the team. I’m happy with the sixth. The guys deserve it, we got it. worked really hard At least we get some good points.
Ocon can’t ‘take a break here’ after loss of boost pressure forces Baku to retire
Throughout the weekend, Alpine showed a pace among the top 10 and Alonso imagined his chances of progressing from 8th place. However, he was nowhere early and there was nothing he could do as car after car passed him and forced him out of the points in the first stint.
“Yes a little bit [surprised by the pace on the soft], “he said.” The long run in FP2 went well, but at the start of the race we were three or four tenths slower than the people around.
READ MORE: ‘Sometimes you can hate this sport’ – Verstappen is frustrated to miss out on an ‘easy win’ and a chance to extend his points lead
“We tried to be creative with the strategy, trying to cut people around and then taking the safety car first and betting to put the tire soft, but any strategy when you’re a little slow it just doesn’t work. not. .
“We were lucky in the end to have an opportunity – and we took it.”
Alonso climbs to 11th place in the drivers’ standings, overtaking his teammate Ocon, who finished four successive races in points.