Fernando Alonso believes the fans at the United States Grand Prix were hard done by due to what he called “random” rules following numerous on-track battles.
Kimi Raikkonen attempted to overtake Alonso round the outside of Turn 1 but the Alpine driver forced him wide, with the Finn managing to hold the inside line for Turn 2 to complete the overtake. Alonso claimed on team radio that he should be given the place back, but Raikkonen was allowed to stay ahead. Later incidents with Antonio Giovinazzi resulted in both Alonso and the Italian having to yield positions.
“They were normal battles but… the rules are a bit random…” Alonso said. “It’s the way it is. Unfortunately, for the fans here in America, they [received] a show that they didn’t deserve.”
Alonso said it wasn’t just the Raikkonen incident that confused him, after having seen Carlos Sainz retain a place ahead of Lando Norris following a similar fight early on.
“Obviously it is (race control’s) decision, so we have to accept it,” Alonso said. “I don’t know if you saw the whole race, but there was the same incident, I think on lap 1 with Lando in Turn 12. He braked on the inside, overtook Sainz, Sainz went off track, retook the position and it was fine.
“And then in the last part of the race, when I overtook Giovinazzi for the second time, I braked on the inside at Turn 12. And again, I forced him off track. He regained the position off-track and that time he had to give me back the position. So, in a way, you always force a guy to go off-track when you brake on the inside: you commit to overtaking. And those on the outside need to decide if they back off, or keep the full throttle off the track outside the circuit.
“It is what Sainz did, Giovinazzi did, I did. And we have to give back the position for sure, because you are running full throttle off-track. But Kimi didn’t. So that’s why I felt that it was not consistent.
“I lost, like, 10 seconds by doing all these things, and obviously the point possibilities were gone. But I mean I’m not too mad about this because it is only a one point place. And then we had the failure of the rear wing anyway, so it didn’t change our race. So this is not a problem.”
Alonso’s first incident with Giovinazzi saw him run wide at Turn 12 after having overtaken the Alfa Romeo on the inside, and he admitted he knew he was going to have to give back the position, despite celebrating the move on team radio.
“When I overtook Antonio, I braked very late into Turn 12 and I missed the corner on exit,” he said. “So when the team told me that I need to give back the position, I understood that it was the right thing to do and it seemed logical to me because I braked too late. If there was a wall there, I would never brake that late, so I took advantage of going off track and I have to give back the position, so I slowed down.
“Unfortunately I was three seconds in front of him already, so I lost a lot of time. But I understood the decision. And then Giovinazzi did the same thing and he had to give me back the position. So yeah, it came back to my original point that, with Kimi, it felt strange. But I was not trying to prove anything. I was just trying to recover places. P10 was the real target and we tried. And we respect everything that the FIA says.”