Fernando Alonso was happy to score two points in the Mexico City Grand Prix, although there is disappointment that Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda were able to outscore them on Sunday afternoon.
The Alpine F1 Team driver was in points contention throughout the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, but he was unable to better ninth at the chequered flag. He was lucky to miss the chaos at turn one, with the Spaniard taking avoiding action as Valtteri Bottas was stopped in the middle of the track after being turned around by Daniel Ricciardo.
Pierre Gasly’s fourth place finish for AlphaTauri means both teams are now level on one hundred and six points heading into the final four races of 2021, but Alonso hopes the two points he scored will help Alpine win the battle for fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship come the end of the season.
“I am happy with a well-executed race for us today,” said Alonso. “Ninth and in the points after a difficult day yesterday is ultimately a good result.
“I was not proud of my job yesterday, but I am prouder today. It was quite a messy start and I had to dodge a few cars in the first few corners. It was very close, but we did quite well to avoid any damage and then I gained some positions after the Safety Car.
“It’s good to see the car can fight for points finishes consistently despite starting lower down the grid. We did lose out a little to Alpha Tauri today in the battle for fifth, but hopefully the points we scored today will help the team for the end of the season.”
“It was always going to be a difficult race starting from the back” – Esteban Ocon
Team-mate Esteban Ocon finished outside the points in thirteenth, and the Frenchman knew it was always going to be a difficult day after having to start near the back following an engine change and grid penalty.
Ocon was lucky to escape relatively unscathed at turn two on the opening lap as he found himself in the middle of both Yuki Tsunoda and Mick Schumacher heading into the corner, with contact being made with both.
Whereas the AlphaTauriand Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers were immediate retirements, Ocon was able to keep going, although he was unable to make any significant moves forward to break into the points.
“It was always going to be a difficult race starting from the back of the grid with the engine penalty, so we can be pleased to make up six positions today,” said Ocon. “I’m happy with my race and how we fought hard, even if we didn’t score points as a reward.
“The start was tough, and we were quite fortunate to get away without too much damage after the contact at Turn 1 with two cars. I tried to back out of it but there wasn’t much to be done there.
“After that, we had some good battles to work our way up through the field, which was fun. As a team, it’s good that Fernando scored points today as it’s important for the championship and our focus moves forward to next week where we both aim to be in the points.”