Alonso taught Hamilton the F1 racing line in Hungarian GP

Fernando Alonso reckons he taught Lewis Hamilton a better racing line in Formula 1’s 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix that the Mercedes driver then applied to pass Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

Alonso taught Hamilton the F1 racing line in Hungarian GP
Listen to this article

New points leader Hamilton closed to Alonso on lap 55 of 70 in Budapest and the former McLaren teammates battled wheel-to-wheel, including a brief touch, until a lock up for Alonso enabled the seven-time champion to find a way past for fourth at Turn 1.

Alpine driver Alonso reckoned the pair’s 10-lap dogfight had allowed Hamilton to learn his rival’s superior line through the final sector, which the Brit then adopted to swiftly depose Sainz with five laps to go to score a podium.

Alonso said: “I thought honestly that I could not hold him more than one or two laps. But on the last couple of corners, he seemed to struggle a little bit to follow me. Then it was enough to open a gap on the straight and defend.

“I think he learned a couple of different lines in the last three corners after the 10 laps behind me. He was able to pass Carlos just in one lap, applying those new lines.”

Hard tyre-shod Alonso clarified that his Alpine team had not specifically instructed him to delay Hamilton, running the faster medium compound, but instead knew to defend against the Mercedes after watching “the situation” on the “biggest TV screens” around the circuit.

That, Alonso said, had been “gold” for teammate Esteban Ocon to secure his first grand prix victory after holding off Sebastian Vettel - the Aston Martin runner-up later disqualified for failing to provide a sufficient fuel sample.

Alonso added: “The team didn't tell me anything. [But] I knew that every lap I could hold him behind, that was gold for Esteban's win.”

The Spaniard, who predicted a Turn 1 incident after qualifying ninth behind Ocon, admitted he was “just lucky” to avoid getting collected by Lance Stroll after the Aston Martin driver ran over the wet grass and eliminated Charles Leclerc before then tagging Daniel Ricciardo.

But Alonso clarified that when he emerged in sixth after the shunts, having swapped his race start intermediate tyres for medium Pirellis, it was “not a gift” of positions.

He said: “I was lucky not to finish my race in Turn 1, like some of the people did. We take this top five - it is my best result of the year.

“It was not a gift because I have to fight every single lap for every single position. I'm proud of my race and 'Driver of the Day' probably shows that.”

Read Also:

The two-time champion added that he had the “pace to win” initially before becoming “convinced about the podium”.

He said: “I had the pace to win the race probably, or that's what it seems when you see the race trace. [After closing the gap to Sainz], I was so convinced about the podium.

“I was setting the fastest laps of the race, and I thought I will overtake them, and I will try to win the race. That was my mind in that moment.

“Then I started realising that maybe winning the race was not possible. It was not enough based on the strength, especially when the straight line speed was lacking.

“I started thinking at that time that if I was right behind Carlos with the DRS, I could protect myself from Hamilton, and just finish fourth.”

shares
comments

Related video

Guilty rivals should pay for F1 crash damage, says Ferrari
Previous article

Guilty rivals should pay for F1 crash damage, says Ferrari

Next article

Hamilton suspects he may have long COVID after Hungary fatigue

Hamilton suspects he may have long COVID after Hungary fatigue
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Prime

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022