Alonso: Vital teams have recovery time in triple-headers

Date published: November 3 2021 - Michelle Foster

Fernando Alonso in the paddock at COTA. Austin October 2021.

Heading into the first leg of a gruelling triple-header, Fernando Alonso says recovery time will be “vital” not only for the drivers but all team personnel.

This weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix marks the beginning of a hectic run-in to the season finale with five races in six weeks.

In an action-packed end to the season, the teams will spend a weekend in Mexico before heading to Brazil and then making the long journey to Qatar in a triple-header.

After a week-long break, the sport will be back in action in Saudi Arabia with Abu Dhabi immediately after.

While it promises to be a difficult time for the drivers, it is more so for the crew members who arrive earlier and leave later.

“We are familiar with this now as it’s been like this in the past few years of Formula 1,” said the Alpine driver.

“The hardest thing will be the amount of travel in the next three weeks as it’s quite long distances between each race. Making sure you get some decent recovery and rest will be crucial to keep up the energy.

“In between races we’ll be making sure to do all the right things to aid recovery after a weekend of racing. It’s also important that all of the staff get some time to recover too.

“Everybody is working in a high-pressure environment during a race weekend, so it’s vital they’re given enough time to recover properly.”

Alonso is hoping Alpine bounce back in Mexico after recording a double DNF at the United States Grand Prix.

While the double World Champion was forced to retire when his rear wing broke, his team-mate Esteban Ocon was out with a mechanical issue.

“It was a difficult weekend for us as a team,” Alonso reflected. “We struggled from Friday onwards and couldn’t find the balance we had in Turkey, where it was arguably the best car I’ve driven all season.

“We also took the decision to change the power unit so that it’s fresh for the rest of the season and it meant starting from the back of the grid on Sunday.

“Despite this it’s a fun track to try make up ground on, and we had a shot at finishing in the points before the rear wing issue on my car.

“Outside of the racing it was great to see the support the fans had for the sport. I think America has really grown to love Formula 1 and we felt that during the whole weekend in Austin.”

He reckons the team can look forward to a better weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez.

 

“It’s another fun track where there are good overtaking opportunities and a very long straight,” he said.

“”We go to another race where the atmosphere is great, and the stadium section of the track is like no other on the calendar. I love football and it reminds me a lot of a football stadium when you are in that final sector.

“It’s usually a hot race and the altitude is high, so it puts huge stresses on us and the car.”