Alonso and Stroll's Fortunes Swing Dramatically in Chaotic Race Restarts
The battle for points was intense at the Australian Grand Prix, and Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll were right in the middle of it. Both drivers made a strategic move to pick up a free tire change at the first red flag stoppage, and it paid off as they surged up the order. Alonso gave Hamilton a run for his money, but his hopes of a top finish were dashed when Sainz spun him out. Stroll also faced misfortune as he out-braked himself and ended up in the gravel. Despite their setbacks, the race ended on a positive note as Race Control decided to revert to the order of the final restart, allowing Alonso and Stroll to finish in 3rd and 4th place, respectively.
Fernando Alonso, 3rd
“It was a rollercoaster of emotions today with the red flags and incidents. It was probably my craziest race here in Melbourne but it’s great to come away with another podium. There were many things going on all afternoon and we had an interesting battle with Lewis [Hamilton] for second. The pace of the car was good and we kept up the pressure on Lewis, but he did a good job and didn’t really make any mistakes. On the contact with Carlos [Sainz] after the restart I’m sure he didn’t mean to do it so I think the penalty for him was quite harsh in the end. We have to be pleased with this start to the season and three podiums in as many races.”
Lance Stroll, 4th
“I think we should be pleased with the result we’ve come away with today: third and fourth is great for the team. It was a heavily disrupted race with red flags and a few big accidents, and neither Fernando nor I managed to stay clear of the drama. I had a little bit of contact on the first lap, but we were running well until the first red flag was thrown. As we’ve seen across the weekend, it takes a while for the tyres to get up to temperature here and so on the second restart I locked up at turn three and ended up in the gravel. Thankfully, the red flag had been waved before that point and I was able to retake my position for the final restart. This sport is a rollercoaster of emotions sometimes! Overall, we’ve come away from a chaotic race with a solid haul of points for the team and to be second in the Constructors’ Championship after three races is very positive”
Mike Krack, Team Principal
“What a race! There was just about everything you could imagine this afternoon so to come away with third and fourth places – and 27 points – is a brilliant reward for the team. It was not an easy race to navigate with the early red flag putting extra emphasis on managing the Hard tyres. Almost everyone was trying to run until the end and it was very close throughout the top ten. Fernando stayed close to Lewis, but with similar race pace we could not get close enough to challenge for second. Lance raced hard all afternoon, survived various battles, and did an excellent job looking after the tyres. Then there was the chaotic restart and I have to say it was a relief to see the starting order reinstated. I know some drivers and teams really lost out in the mayhem, but we got a bit lucky with both cars being largely undamaged allowing us to finish the race under the Safety Car. Big congratulations and thanks to the whole team at Silverstone and here at the track for another strong and faultless performance with both cars and our third podium of the year. Today we celebrate and enjoy this result, but tomorrow our attention turns to the next race in Baku.”