An unfortunate weekend for the AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly and BTW Alpine driver Fernando Alonso. The two were the protagonists of an episode that led them to a close fight in the race, which seemed to have started in the best way for both, but not ended as hoped for.
During lap 40 fighting for the eighth position Alonso tried to dive inside turn 1 but ended up coming into contact with Gasly, causing some damage to the rear of the Frenchman's car.
Alonso in his post race interview, which included MotorLAT and other media outlets, explained what happened and the reasons that led him to his move: “I had a slow pit stop, I lost like four seconds so I had to recover that time with Gasly, eventually closed the gap and I was very optimistic on the move with him, so I touched him.”
The incident was noticed by the race direction that decided to give Alonso a five seconds penalty. “I had the penalty, 5 seconds, which I deserved. It was my mistake; I braked too late.
"We were ready to give back the position but he was on the pit stop at that time... so I had to pay those 5 seconds,” said the two-time World Champion.
Gasly was surely not happy how the things turned for him after the incident: "He [Alonso] came to apologise but unfortunately it's not going to give us back the points.
"It's a big shame. I'm extremely disappointed because it was a great afternoon. We had a brilliant start, passing Lewis [Hamilton] into Turn 1, running in P7 after that. We would have had a great battle with Fernando, but he just took it a step too far, and unfortunately today it's ruined our race."
The 2020 Italian Grand Prix winner reported that he had some issues driving the car right after the incident: “We tried to do one more lap to continue but the car was too damaged. I couldn’t stay on track, couldn’t turn left anymore.”
But while coming back to the pits there was another contact with Lando Norris: “I was going slow after Turn 7. All the cars passed, I was trying to turn right to give room and then Norris came and clipped my front left tyre.”
Despite his disappointment with the final result, he added that there were still some positive things to focus on like the great start and the pace, which he felt was pretty good during all the race.
In the end, Alonso didn’t miss the chance to apologize to Gasly, stating that it was all his fault: “It was my mistake. It happens sometimes to me. Mick spun in Imola and destroyed my race. Today I brake too late and destroy Pierre’s race. It was my mistake and I feel sorry for him because I know how he should feel, it was not his fault. It’s hard not to finish a race after someone touch you from behind. It was bad luck for him and my mistake.”