Fernando Alonso, at the 33rd victory of his career in Formula 1, really believed in it. Only a great Max Verstappen, perfect interpreter of the phenomenal RB19, prevented him from reaching his goal.
The Aston Martin Racing driver had scored this weekend for some time, aware that a great qualifying could have given him and the Silverstone team their first win of the season.
After the second place achieved in yesterday’s qualifying, Alonso started on the Hard tires against the Mediums of Max Verstappen, who started from pole position. This choice was a declaration of intent: no desire to boldly attack in the first corner, but the intention to put the 2-time world champion under pressure with strategy during the race.
Alonso did everything in the first stint to put Max in a crisis. But the great ability of the Dutchman and the RB19 to manage the tires allowed the 25-year-old to complete many laps on the Medium tyres.
“It was difficult, we chose to start with the hard tyres, so we lost a bit of a chance in the first corner because of the short straight,” said Alonso after the race.
Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
“We played with the strategy for a long time, but Max drove very well on the medium tires and extended the first stint, so we didn’t have a chance.”
In the last third of the race, the rain came to change the cards on the table, which fell heavier than expected a few minutes after Fernando’s pit stop, switching from Hard to Medium. At that point Alonso had to make another pit stop to mount the Intermediates and so, with one more pit stop than Verstappen, his hopes of fighting for success were gone.
“In the end, the rain complicated things a bit and it wasn’t easy to ride. There wasn’t full power during the lap, the braking was extremely delicate between Turn 5 and Turn 10, so it wasn’t easy and I was surprised there were no safety cars or crashes, so everyone did an amazing job today to keep the cars on track,” concluded Alonso.
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