Fernando Alonso praised the strength of the shell of his Alpine after it survived a hefty impact in Austin, but he admitted he has begun to feel a bit of pain as a result.
Alonso was shaping up to make a pass on future Aston Martin team-mate Lance Stroll after the first Safety Car restart during the United States Grand Prix, getting into his slipstream before moving towards the inside.
Stroll moved with him to the left and Alonso was then launched over the back of the Canadian’s rear tyre, catapulting into mid-air and landing hard, while the Aston Martin was too heavily damaged to continue – requiring the marshals to take on a significant clean-up operation on the back straight.
Alonso was able to get back to the pits and catch the back of the pack before the restart, and had managed to make his way back into the top six before being pipped by Lando Norris at the end – but P7 was still a more-than-respectable showing considering where he found himself in the race.
“It was quite hard,” Alonso told Formula1.com of his impact with the ground after getting out of the car.
This was a big, big impact. The main thing is both drivers are okay, because that was dangerous.
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) October 23, 2022
“Five minutes ago I was fine, now I have a little bit of pain, so I have to wait until tomorrow probably to really see.
“But yeah, I mean, the car is very strong. Again, you know, whoever has a problem with Alpine normally has everything to lose, because we have a very strong car.
“We changed tyres, front wing and we kept going and I was amazed that the car managed to complete the 31 laps until the end, and we still finished P7 after being P17. So it was a good race.”
The two drivers were called to the stewards to discuss the incident after the race, and the Aston Martin driver was found culpable – punished with a three-place grid penalty for Mexico and two penalty points on his Super Licence as a result.
But Stroll had denied responsibility for the crash was his after what appeared to be a late move to defend, believing he left the two-time World Champion enough space to move alongside.
“First of all, it’s just a shame – we were having a good race,” Stroll said before seeing the stewards.
“I left him plenty of room on the left. It was a big difference in speed, I was kind of judging where he was behind me and I moved, you know, based on where I thought he was behind me.
“But yeah, he got really close to me and we just made contact. So, frustrating.”