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Alonso “Not Angry” at Aston Martin for Early Pit Stop at Japanese Grand Prix

The early pitstop saw Alonso say over the radio that they were "throwing [him] to the lions."...

Fernando Alonso was a very frustrated man at the Japanese Grand Prix. He had a few things to gripe about like his lack of straight-line speed thanks to the aero set-up chosen by the team, and his early pitstop that prompted a radio message to the team saying that they had thrown him “to the lines stopping that early.”

Alonso had a good start on the soft tyres, taking advantage of the incident between Hamilton and Perez to nab sixth place, but he was unfortunately the first of the top six to pit on lap 11 to cover the cars behind them, namely Yuki Tsunoda.

Aston Martin did change their strategy which did allow Alonso to recover to eighth place.

Alonso was asked if he was angry with the team after the race, but he said no, he was frustrated the same way any driver in that situation would be.

“Well, not angry,” Alonso said. “I think it’s the same classic theme, the classic FOM radio, completely out of context.

“I’m not sure what other drivers say when they are behind a car that is slower and on the straight, they are pulling away even when you open the DRS. Maybe they say, ‘I’m okay, I’m happy to stay here and to stay behind.’

“But I prefer to be motivated, to overtake them. On track, as I said, I was slower even with the DRS open. So I called for a different strategy, we stopped, we beat them. So that’s the way we do it. We beat everyone on track, even if the radio is the highlight.”

Even while venting his frustration, Alonso understood that in the end, he recovered to where he was supposed to be in P8.

“I think we were fast today, faster than we thought, in terms of pace,” Alonso added. “I was behind the Ferraris, in front of [Lewis] Hamilton with not too much pressure. I think in lap 12 we stopped. And I think it was to cover [Yuki] Tsunoda, which was a bit of a surprise there.

“After that stop, obviously, the race is very long from that moment onwards.

“Maybe that was a mistake. But easy to say now. I think arguable the final result would be P8, after the top teams. So it didn’t change much in our race.

“I was upset because the first stop I think was too early. I didn’t argue. I knew that we stopped too early. And it’s not a problem. Sometimes we benefit.

“We tried to anticipate the first stint, the first stop, you have to force them as well to go early. So I understand the strategy. So there is nothing wrong with it.

“But when you have a very slow car on the straights and you are into traffic, it can be that there are moments of rage that you lose momentum. It happened today, but I’m perfectly fine.”

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