Fernando Alonso believes his collision with Esteban Ocon was a case of “wrong place, wrong moment”, after the former Alpine team-mates had a high-speed crash during the Sprint Shootout at Interlagos on Saturday.
Alonso moved to the right on the exit of the Senna S as the track moved into the Curva do Sol as Ocon approached on a flying lap behind, but the Frenchman suffered a twitch of oversteer that sent him in Alonso’s direction, with a huge tangle with Alonso’s front-left sending him spiralling into the barriers on the exit.
This caused a half-hour delay to the Sprint Shootout with the necessary barrier repairs that took place, with Ocon dubbing his former colleague a “f***ing idiot” over team radio in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
Fernando Alonso reacts to unusual Esteban Ocon crash
Both drivers were summoned to the stewards to discuss the impact after the Shootout, though Alonso was confident that Aston Martin would be able to repair his car in time for the Sprint later on Saturday.
Ocon was clearly angry at Alonso seemingly not moving far enough away from the racing line to allow him sufficient space to move through on a flying lap, but the two-time World Champion seemingly put it down to a case of accidental circumstances at Interlagos.
“Unfortunately we could not complete the qualifying, it’s a shame, both cars out of the qualifying now and a lot of damage in both cars I guess. Not the way we wanted,” Alonso said in the media pen after climbing out of his car.
“I didn’t see the replay yet, someone told me that he lost the car apparently a little bit. I mean, one of those situations, wrong place, wrong moment.”
This incident ended both Alonso and Ocon’s sessions, and they are due to line up together on the eighth row in the Sprint on Saturday, but given Aston Martin locked out the second row between them on Friday, it represented a drop in fortunes compared to where they were less than a day before.
With promise having been shown, Alonso wants to try and make headway in the 24-lap dash later on.
“I hope so,” he responded when asked if he can make up some of the lost ground during the Sprint.
“I think we had great pace yesterday, we struggled a bit more today in Q1 to go through, so still some question marks on our pace into today’s race and tomorrow.
“But more confident than Mexico for sure and Austin, so hopefully a good race.”