Alpine was too early to celebrate six World Championship points in Miami. Two hours after the race, Fernando Alonso flew out of the points. Two penalties cost ten seconds. In one case, the Spaniard tricked himself.
It just doesn't want to work for Fernando Alonso. In qualifying he is regularly three to four tenths faster than Esteban Ocon, but on points it is 24:2 for the tall Frenchman. Alonso has been waiting for a top ten result since the season opener. A mixture of bad luck, adverse circumstances and mistakes once again left the oldest driver in the field empty handed in Miami.
Fate was not kind to Alonso this time either. Carlos Sainz stood in his way in qualifying. This left the Alpine pilot in eleventh place on the grid. According to Alonso, under normal circumstances he would have made it onto the third row of the grid.
The Spaniard made up for the mishap in the first kilometer and came back from the starting lap in seventh place. He had already seen at the drivers' parade that the outside lane should offer decent grip, which others hadn't suspected there. With a bit of enemy contact, Alonso punched through against Lewis Hamilton.
Gasly penalty too hard
It was the start of an aggressive race that ended with two penalties for Alonso. After starving half the race behind Pierre Gasly, he ran out of patience on lap 39. The attack on the Alpha Tauri driver in the first corner ended in wheel contact. Gasly had to go a long way and Alonso was finally over. The punishment followed immediately. Five seconds for causing a collision.
Alonso took the blame. Only afterwards did the team wonder about the strict interpretation of the rules by the sports commissioners. With Lando Norris against Pierre Gasly or Sebastian Vettel against Mick Schumacher, there were much worse collisions with more far-reaching consequences, but either no investigation was carried out or both parties were acquitted.
The old fox and the chicane
With the second penalty, the two-time former world champion then scored an own goal. After the restart, Mick Schumacher and teammate Ocon were stuck in the gearbox. Alonso had to shake the two out of his DRS area if he wanted to stay eighth. According to the Haas team, Alonso deliberately took a short cut in the chicane to get the necessary breathing space. "He tricked us," said operations manager Ayo Komatsu.
Haas team manager Peter Crolla couldn't hide a certain admiration for Alonso. "He's just an old fox. Drives straight through the chicane, makes it look like a mistake and takes his foot off the gas for a moment so there's no trouble afterwards. So Mick no longer had DRS protection and was at the mercy of Ocon.That ended up causing all the chaos that led to the collision between Mick and Vettel."
Ocon's heroes are the mechanics
At the time, Haas didn't know that there was mischief in the FIA stewards' office brewing about Alonso, where the opinion was that the Alpine pilot had taken his foot off the gas, but not enough, and that the advantage was sustainable because Schumacher fell out of the DRS window and in turn had a disadvantage compared to Ocon . Alpine's objection that Alonso had followed all the rules was dismissed.
The second five-second penalty saw Alexander Albon and Lance Stroll move up the rankings. Stroll beat Alonso by 0.102 seconds in the fight for the last World Championship point on paper. Still Alonso helped his team-mate. Ocon emerged as the winner of this group and scored at least four more points on the Alpine account. His thanks went to the mechanics: "They are the real heroes because they gave me a new car after my accident on Saturday screwed together."
Alpine cannot be satisfied with the result. Again, the cars were faster on one lap than over the distance, even if this time the tires didn't collapse as dramatically as in Bahrain, Melbourne or Imola. Nevertheless, one has to worry about the French because Alonso with the hard tires was not able to drive away decisively from either the Aston Martin or the Haas and, despite DRS, he lacked the top speed to pass Gasly much earlier and more comfortably. Only that put him in a situation where he had to defend himself with his hands and feet. With the risk of penalties.