The F1 drivers' parade secret behind Alonso’s flying Miami start

Fernando Alonso revealed that one of Formula 1's slowest driver parades played an important role in his flying start to Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix.

The F1 drivers' parade secret behind Alonso’s flying Miami start
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After narrowly missing out on Q3 on Saturday, Alonso lined up 11th on the grid in Miami, but felt confident about the pace of the Alpine package as he looked to score points for the first time since Bahrain.

Alonso gained a place before the race even got underway after the fuel issue forced Lance Stroll to start from the pitlane.

But that did not stop the two-time world champion from picking up even more places, sweeping past Yuki Tsunoda, Lando Norris and - with some slight contact - Lewis Hamilton to sit seventh on the opening lap.

The gains came after Alonso committed to taking the outside line at Turn 1, capitalising on the cars who became boxed in on the inside - Hamilton being one of the drivers who struggled most at that part of the track.

But it emerged after the race that Alonso's plan to take the outside line had been formulated long before the lights went out at the Miami International Autodrome.

Alonso revealed that it was during the drivers' parade that he took note of how clean the outside line looked at Turn 1, prompting him to gamble on it having enough grip at the start.

"I had a good start, but then I chose to go on the outside on Turn 1," Alonso explained.

"I saw [it] on the drivers' parade. It was the slowest drivers' parade ever today.

"And thanks to that, we stopped on the outside of Turn 1, so I looked on the outside of Turn 1 for like 20 seconds, and I felt that it was very grippy, and there were no marbles, no stones, no nothing, and it was very clean.

"So I said I will go on the outside on Turn 1. They were all braking very carefully on the inside, and I made a couple of places there."

Alonso was ultimately unable to keep Hamilton back in the opening stint, and a slow pit stop then caused him to fall behind Pierre Gasly.

An optimistic move at Turn 1 resulted in contact, for which Alonso received a five-second time penalty, before a second five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage ultimately dropped him out of the points to 11th in the final classification.

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Alonso was not the only driver to have found more grip around the outside at Turn 1, with a similar move being pulled by Max Verstappen to get ahead of Carlos Sainz in the fight for second.

"I didn't know what to expect in the actual start, but we had a good launch," Verstappen said.

"And I saw the opportunity to go around the outside in Turn 1, so I tried. And luckily, it worked."

Drivers struggled off-line throughout the weekend, and while Verstappen said he was "surprised" by the grip he found at Turn 1, the corner became "worse and worse again" as the race wore on.

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