October 3, 2022

Fernando Alonso reckons his run to fifth in the British Grand Prix was Alpine’s best race of the year – but says he even eyed a podium as the cars ahead of him raced spectacular wheel-to-wheel in the final laps. .

The veteran Spaniard qualified seventh and got off to a great start to move up to P5 on the first lap, before the red flag came out for Zhou Guanyu’s crash, dropping him back to P7 for the restart.

ALL ANGLES: Watch the dramatic multi-car crash at the start of the British Grand Prix

But afterwards he had a classic Alonso race, climbing to fifth when he was able to get under the safety car and jump Lando Norris in front of him.

But with Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez battling hard racing right in front of him on the track in the closing laps, Alonso was ready to pounce if any of them made a mistake.

“It didn’t go far. When I saw them fighting so hard and almost touching each other, I was like ‘okay, if they touch each other with two cars, that’s enough to be on the podium’ “, he said after the race. “But in the end, I’m very happy with fifth. It was a very good race in terms of pace from the start.

British Grand Prix 2022: Hamilton, Pérez and Leclerc face off in ‘incredible’ three-way battle

“Even the first start was mega – P5 – but unfortunately because of the rules I repositioned myself to P7 so I had to do it again. It was probably the best race for us in the championship.

Alonso’s result also helped Alpine close the gap to McLaren to six points in the fight for P4 in the Constructors’ Championship – although the two-time champion was aggrieved that Leclerc was not punished for weaving, as Alonso was two weeks ago in Canada.

READ MORE: 6 winners and 5 losers of the British Grand Prix – Who shone at Silverstone?

“This circuit – we knew for McLaren it would be one of the best with the high-speed corners, and we matched them for the pace, so our package works well and this P5 feels good, although I have to say I was expecting P4 because Charles was moving three or four times ahead of Hamilton on the backstretch I moved once in Canada and had a five second penalty so I think by moving three times, it would unfortunately be a 15 second penalty for Charles!

His teammate Esteban Ocon, meanwhile, has largely had a weekend to forget. After qualifying 15th he was then caught up in the first lap crash, and although the team repaired his car in time for the restart, he was eventually forced to retire with a fuel pump problem. fuel.

Ocon managed to limp back to the pits after being hit by Alex Albon on the first start

“The first thing to come out of today, the best news is that Zhou is fine. We are very happy to hear that he is fine because it was a very scary accident,” the Frenchman said. .

“I made a good pitch, I went around Yuki [Tsunoda] initially, but whatever happened in front, I tried to avoid it and managed to avoid it, without hitting anything. But Alex [Albon] came spinning and hit my wheel. I managed to get the car – just – back in the grid and the guys fixed it and did a fantastic job.

MONDAY MORNING DEBRIEF: Binotto says there was ‘no way’ Leclerc could win the British GP after the safety car – but is he right?

“We had a flying launch at the start after that – again, like five places or something, which was great and a good race from there. We were going to finish sixth or seventh, it was going to be good, unfortunately, fuel pump problem.

“So a difficult day: yesterday, quality problems with the battery supply and today the fuel pump. So we have to review and come back stronger.”