Alonso’s Monaco false finish: Mistakenly thought he finished P10!


A confused Fernando Alonso thought he had secured the final championship point at the end of last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix only to realise after the checkered flag that he had actually finished P11.

In a race marked by an opening lap red flag that set the stage for a 77-lap procession with everyone focused on tyre preservation, Alonso and teammate Lance Stroll were involved in their own strategic battle for Aston Martin.

Alonso, running behind the Canadian from the outset, was determined to help the latter’s fortunes by creating a gap that would allow his teammate a free pitstop.

The plan proved effective when Stroll swapped his medium tyres for a set of hards on lap 42.

But a mistake by the Aston charger at the Nouvelle Chicane on lap 48 resulted in a puncture that required a second stop, which sent Stroll tumbling in the standings.

Alonso then picked up the baton, believing – wrongly – that the responsibility for salvaging a point fell squarely on his shoulders.

"I got confused because when we [built the gap] and Lance was in front of me after the pitstops, they said, 'okay, we secured 10th.' We've been doing all this for that last point," a frustrated Alonso explained after the race.

"Then Lance had the puncture, I said, 'Oh, now I have all the responsibility in my shoulders with very old tyres to bring this point back home.' I was driving for 50 laps thinking that I was 10th.

"And then when I crossed the line and they told me P11, I said, 'Oh, so, uh, all that stress for nothing.' But anyway, it kept me alive.”

Alonso said that his confusion stemmed from the order of the second restart grid.

"When the red flag came out, Lance was P10, I was P12. And then at one point they reinstated Sainz in P3, so we were 12th and 14th, we should be 13th and 14th, but Lance was in front of Daniel that he was not supposed to be.

"So I don't know in which position I started, and I don't know in which position I was driving."

Like many of his colleagues, Alonso admitted that F1’s red flag rules that allow drivers to take on fresh tyres during the pause had reduced proceedings to a boring procession.

"When there is a red flag and then you change tyres and you go to the end, the only point of interest in a Monaco race is the pitstops that you have to do. If you remove that excitement of a pit stop, then it becomes nothing," he said.

"Maybe it reopens the conversations of when there is a red flag, not changing tyres or be obliged to have the same tyre or something, because if not, there are certain occasions that the race is compromised.

"In our case it was very unlucky again. I think we didn't have the pace. It was a bad weekend. No doubt about that. We cannot hide our performance, but also we cannot hide that we've been very unlucky.

"We started with a hard tyre just to go to the very end and have an alternative strategy. There is a red flag, so we have to fit the medium and do 78 laps with the medium, which is a kamikaze strategy, but it was the only way to try to score some points."

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