Fernando Alonso claims to be ‘100 times faster’ than teammate Esteban Ocon
The Canadian Grand Prix started with such promise but ended in extreme frustration for Fernando Alonso.
A brilliant lap at the end of qualifying secured Alonso his first front row start for 10 years and the Spaniard vowed to "attack" pole-sitter and champion leader Max Verstappen off the line in Montreal. While Alonso didn't manage to take the lead off the line, he did hold position ahead of the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.
He clearly didn't have the pace of Sainz and Hamilton and eventually dropped down the field, but still looked capable of a strong points finish. However, the decision not to stop under the two early virtual safety cars appeared to be the wrong call and he found himself in seventh place behind teammate Estaban Ocon in the closing stages.
Alonso was also managing an engine problem, which affected his speed in a straight line and led to him being told to hold position in seventh spot. That clearly irked Alonso, who complained about the call to his engineer over the radio. "Even with a straight line issue, I'm 100 times faster."
If that wasn't annoying enough for the veteran, he was then hit with a five-second penalty after being found guilty of excessive weaving as he tried to hold off the Alfa Romero of Valtteri Bottas. With the field bunched up due to a full safety car, it cost Alonso two places, consigning him to a ninth-place finish and just two points.
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Speaking after the race, Alonso said: "All the people behind us got very lucky once more. The biggest problem was on lap 20 when I had an engine problem with the battery system.
"I was clipping in the middle of the straight, I was losing eight tenths per lap and had to overdrive round the corners. A very difficult race and an engine problem on my car is very frustrating."
Clipping sees the engine slow down at high speed and begin to harvest energy.
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