Fernando Alonso hits back at ‘completely out of context’ team radio message in Japan

Michelle Foster
Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso at the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix.

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso appearing in thought.

Fernando Alonso has hit out at “classic FOM” for broadcasting a radio message of his that made it appear as if he was unhappy with Aston Martin.

Starting Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix from 10th place on the grid, Alonso made an incredible start on the soft tyres to run up in sixth place.

But in a race with high temperatures and degradation, Aston Martin pitted him on lap 11 of the 53-lap grand prix which dropped him traffic.

Fernando Alonso denies being ‘angry’ at his team

Alonso, or so it seemed, was annoyed.

“You’ve thrown me to the lions by stopping that early, mate,” he said over the radio. “Unbelievable!”

The Spaniard, though, says he was anything but angry with his team and not for the first time blamed FOM for putting him in a bad light.

“Not angry,” he told Motorsport.com of his radio exchange with his team.

“I think it’s the same classic theme, the classic FOM radio, completely out of context.

“I’m not sure exactly what other drivers say when they are behind a car that is slower and on the straight, they are pulling away even when you open the DRS.

“Maybe they say, ‘I’m okay, I’m happy to stay here and to stay behind’.

“But I prefer to be motivated, to overtake them. On track, as I said, I was slower even with the DRS open.

“So I called for a different strategy, we stopped, we beat them. So that’s the way we do it. We beat everyone on track, even if the radio is the highlight.”

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Alonso recovered back into the top ten and brought his AMR23 home in seventh place ahead of the two Alpine drivers.

And while he still doesn’t agree with Aston Martin’s call to pit him so early, he reckons P7 if not eighth was always going to be the best result he could achieve on the day.

“I think we were fast today, faster than what we thought, in terms of pace,” he added.

“I was behind the Ferraris, in front of [Lewis] Hamilton with not too much pressure. I think in lap 12 we stopped. And I think it was to cover [Yuki] Tsunoda, which was a bit of a surprise there.

“After that stop, obviously, the race is very long from that moment onwards.

“Maybe that was a mistake. But easy to say now. I think arguably the final result would be P8, after the top teams. So it didn’t change much in our race.

“I was upset because the first stop I think it was too early. I didn’t argue. I knew that we stopped too early. And it’s not a problem. Sometimes we benefit.”

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