Fernando Alonso worries Miami win was ‘too easy’ for Max Verstappen

Jamie Woodhouse
Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin and Max Verstappen, Red Bull, celebrate. Miami, May 2023.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin and Max Verstappen, Red Bull, celebrate on the podium. Miami, May 2023.

Fernando Alonso hopes that whenever Max Verstappen has a fresh recovery mission, the pack can make it tougher for him than in Miami.

Verstappen had not put a lap on the board in Q3 in Miami by the time Charles Leclerc crashed out, leaving the Red Bull driver to start the race from P9.

But, a combination of driver talent and car that strong meant Verstappen made lightning fast progress on Sunday, passing Alonso on Lap 15 to move into second place behind Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.

That was 10 laps ahead of when Alonso had predicted to have Verstappen in his mirrors.

Alonso had been hoping that a ‘DRS train’ in the midfield would slow Verstappen’s progress, but that did not come to pass, so he is hoping that they all can do a better job of giving Verstappen a harder time whenever he next faces such a scenario.

“At the moment it is hard to keep them behind,” Alonso told Sky Sports F1. “And I was hoping that he had like a DRS train of cars in front of him, but he was just making moves, one after the other and the guys in front, they were not in the DRS either.

“So it was a little bit too easy for him. Hopefully next time we try between all of us to make things more difficult.”

As for Alonso, it turned into quite the lonely race for him in P3 after Verstappen had made the pass, ultimately finishing seven seconds up the road from Mercedes’ George Russell.

His Sunday cruise in Miami even involved watching the big screens as his Aston Martin team-mate Lance Stroll made a pass on Alex Albon at Turn 1, Alonso offering his congratulations over team radio.

“I had a bit of a lonely race, nothing to do in front of us with the Red Bulls, but also quite a big margin behind,” he reflected.

“It depends on the circuit, but here out of Turn 11 there is a big TV screen there, so I was watching the race a little bit, I saw some movements from Lance into Turn 1, so I did enjoy that, but I didn’t know which position he was fighting for.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

Max Verstappen jubilant after Miami GP win: I always feel unbeatable

Sir Jackie Stewart hilariously responds to Miami GP grid security manhandling

There was an eventful moment earlier in the race though, with Alonso moving post-race to clarify what he meant by his “Plan A minus 12” radio message. At the time it seemed like he was calling to go 12 laps shorter than planned on his opening stint, but Alonso would clear up the funny story behind it.

“We had Plan A and Plan B, and I mixed the Plan A and Plan B I think, and then minus 12 was not what I meant,” he said.

“So I said sorry, a few seconds later, they [Aston Martin] understood because they were laughing, it was not possible really to go minus 12 because we passed already that lap.”

Alonso further strengthened his P3 spot in the Drivers’ standings with that result, now 19 points clear of former team-mate Lewis Hamilton.