Although Lance Stroll admits he “definitely moved late” in defending against Fernando Alonso, the Aston Martin driver says it’s “not like I hit him”.
Alonso and his 2023 Aston Martin team-mate were involved in a high-speed crash in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix.
With the field accelerating after a Safety Car restart on lap 22, Alonso tried to attack Stroll for position only for the Canadian to swing left to defend.
Alonso hit the back of the AMR22 and was sent flying.
Despite also hitting the barrier on the left side of the track when he landed, Alonso was able to continue and raced his way into the points.
He was later stripped of that, handed a 30-second time penalty for a “dangerous” side mirror hanging from his car.
Stroll was given a three-place grid penalty for the next race, the Mexican Grand Prix, the driver admitting he did make a late move.
He, however, points out that it was Alonso that hit him, not the other way around.
Onboard with Alonso during that collision with Stroll
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 23, 2022
“I mean, I definitely moved late, but there was a big difference in speed,” he said, as per Motorsport.com.
“I was judging more or less, kind of picking where he was behind me.
“But it’s not like I hit him on the side of his car. The impact is still his front wing to the rear of my car.
“I gave him plenty of room on the left of the track, so it’s not like I squeezed him or anything like that against a wall. He could have moved earlier and went more to the left. He didn’t have to get so close to me either.
“So, there’s a lot of different ways you could look at the incident. It was a shame. It was close wheel-to-wheel racing and unfortunately just made contact.”
The 23-year-old does not believe Sunday’s crash will have a negative impact on his relationship with his 2023 team-mate.
“I don’t look at it that way. We’re racing drivers. It can happen in a race,” he said.
Can’t base a penalty on a crash but that deserved more than a grid penalty
Fernando Alonso was lucky to escape with nothing more than a few aches and pains as he landed heavily having been sent airborne by Lance Stroll.
A metre or two more to the left in his landing and he would have been halfway up the barrier, an impact that could have had more severe consequences – potentially even flipping his car.
Stroll was given a three-place grid penalty for the next race as he retired as a result of the crash. Had he continued, it would have been a five-second time penalty for causing a collision.
That’s the letter of the law, one can’t argue against his penalty.
But given that the Canadian has blatantly said he “definitely moved late” surely that should be taken into account.
He moved late as another driver, who he could see in his mirrors, made a move. A deliberate block. A block that he must have known could cause an accident, after all he has done 120 races in Formula 1 – he knows what happens next.
So while the stewards are correct in their punishment as per the letter of the law, intent should also factor. A race ban wouldn’t be amiss.