Brawn elects 'wily old fox' Alonso as his driver of the day

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Ross Brawn was at odds with F1's fan community after Sunday's Dutch Grand Prix, the F1 boss choosing Fernando Alonso rather than Sergio Perez as his driver of the day at Zandvoort.

Perez received the fans' plaudits for his impressive drive from dead last - having started from the pitlane - to P8.

But Brawn wasn't inclined to cast his vote in favour of the Red Bull driver, highlighting a mistake and his underperformance relative to the potential of his car, the fastest machine in the field in the hands of Max Verstappen.

"For once I have to disagree with the fans regarding driver of the day, as for me it was Fernando, rather than Sergio," Brawn explained in his post-race column for

"Sergio was in the pits and at the back of the field because he had a massive flat-spot – he made a huge mistake again. A grand prix is about making the fewest or no mistakes the whole weekend.

"You might say the team were at fault in Q1 but to not progress from that session with a car like that is not good enough. He’s not putting it all together at the moment. Fernando is."

The Alpine driver was feisty from the outset of Sunday's race, gaining two positions on the opening lap from his P9 grid slot, and outpacing teammate Esteban Ocon all afternoon.

Alonso's spirited drive, executed while managing his tyres, landed him a sixth-place finish at the checkered, having overhauled the Ferrari of countryman Carlos Sainz on the penultimate lap.

"Fernando was a wily old fox on Sunday," added Brawn. "When Esteban Ocon was on the radio saying he was faster than Fernando, his team mate was managing his tyres as he needed to at that stage of the race.

"In my view, he ran a perfect race. To squeak that extra position at the end from Carlos was brilliant."

While highlighting Alonso's performance, Brawn was also impressed, again, by Pierre Gasly's run to fourth in Holland with AlphaTauri. It was a performance that reminded the F1 chief that the Frenchman is simply "too good" in his view to remain stranded at Red Bull.

"Pierre is acquiring a growing fan club in F1 and I would count myself as a member," said Brawn.

"For him to come back from such a difficult blow after being dropped by Red Bull from their works team and return to win his first race and perform as consistently and strongly as he does with a car which won’t be as good as the works team is fantastic.

"It is a real credit to him that he’s stayed committed.

"Something will happen for him in the future. He won’t be able to stay in the family if an opportunity to return to the Red Bull works team isn’t coming. I think he’s too good for that.

"I think an opportunity will come at some stage. He’s doing a brilliant job."

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