‘Sprint race means nothing’ – Fernando Alonso lands FIA jab with penalties still stinging

Jamie Woodhouse
Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso wearing sunglasses.

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso.

Fernando Alonso quipped that the Miami Sprint will not be particularly interesting as “we cannot fight or anything like that”, with the wounds from his recent penalties and super licence points clearly still sore.

Alonso had questioned whether it was “worth” taking part in the Miami Sprint after he received three penalty points on his FIA super licence following a collision with Carlos Sainz in the China Sprint last time out. He was also given a 10-second time penalty, despite later retiring from the event.

Fernando Alonso declares ‘Sprint race means nothing’

Additional reporting by Pablo Hidalgo

It seems he will be part of the Miami Sprint after all, but is not expecting any battles, as he quipped that this is not allowed and so he expects little enjoyment to be found in the Sprint.

Asked after Sprint qualifying whether he had any sense for where Aston Martin’s long-run pace is at heading into the 19-lap Sprint, Alonso replied: “Not really.

“Obviously, we didn’t do any any long run in FP1.

“Anyway, the Sprint race means nothing, especially because we cannot fight or anything like that. We receive penalties for whatever we do.

“So just tomorrow is a day for fun, but not for us, not very interesting.”

Alonso may well find himself in the thick of the action as he prepares to launch from P8 on the grid, as he spoke of the difficulties experienced by all 10 runners in the final SQ3 stage as they swapped from the medium to soft tyres.

“It was difficult for sure to read the grip on track and changing the tyre compound from the medium to the soft at the end, It was difficult, but same for everybody,” he said.

“I think we put both cars in Q3 which was the target and let’s see tomorrow.”

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And it will be an all-Aston Martin fourth row with Lance Stroll having got the better of his two-time World Champion team-mate, doing so on a set of used soft tyres for good measure.

“Yes, it was a good qualifying or sure,” Stroll reflected.

“On a used tyre to save a set for tomorrow’s qualifying and hopefully we can try and pick something up in the Sprint race.”

Asked whether the revised rear wing on his AMR24 should help him make progress in the Sprint, Stroll replied: “Well I hope so, yeah.

“We’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will start from pole for the Miami Sprint.

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