Alonso shakes off Spa drama, eyes Italian GP

Fernando Alonso has set his sights on the home race of his Ferrari team on Sunday, where he can’t be taken out by a flying Frenchman again.

Alonso’s Ferrari was damaged beyond repair entering the first turn of the Belgian Grand Prix when it was hit by the Lotus of Romain Grosjean in a massive crash, which also ended the race for Grosjean, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez of Sauber.

The championship leader Alonso was lucky not to be hit directly by the flying Lotus of Grosjean, who was banned by the stewards for the next race, the Italian Grand Prix, for causing the pile-up by giving Hamilton no room after the start.

“I honestly thought I was ahead of him (Hamilton) and there was enough room for both cars; I didn’t deliberately try to squeeze him or anything like that. I misjudged the gap; it was my mistake and unfortunately the consequences were not good,” Grosjean said.

Hamilton did not want to talk about the start while Alonso said he was “lucky in my misfortune” but not angry with Grosjean although the young driver should be less hot-headed in the future.

“I am not angry with Grosjean, he definitely didn’t do it on purpose: it was a case of me being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Alonso said.

“Rather, I think that certain drivers should try and take fewer risks at the start: it’s a bit of a tendency currently in the junior formulae, but it would be better, if right from the start of their career, they got used to respecting more strictly the rules relating to behaviour on track.”

Alonso will hope to be more lucky in Monza on Sunday, as the Belgian outcome saw his championship lead cut after two-time reigning champion Sebastian Vettel moved within 24 points — one point less than a race victory — by coming second behind McLaren winner Jenson Button.

Alonso has 164 points, Vettel 140, his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber 132, Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen 131, Hamilton 117 and Button 101 with eight races left in the season.

“Today we paid a high price through bad luck and luck owes us now: let’s see what happens in the rest of the season. We lost a bit of the advantage we had over Vettel, Webber and Raikkonen, but we have lost nothing to Hamilton who, given how the McLaren went, is possibly our most dangerous rival,” Alonso said.

“Now we go to Monza, Ferrari’s home race: traditionally the Reds are always strong there, so let’s hope we can have a nice weekend and give our fans something to cheer about, making up some of the advantage we lost today.” Alonso won the Monza race in 2010 for Ferrari and also in 2007 during his year at McLaren.

This copy has been corrected for a factual error

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 6:37:11 PM |

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