After playing a starring role in Qualifying on Saturday, Fernando Alonso was disappointed to leave Canada with only two points to his name after suffering with the timing of the virtual safety cars (VSC) and with an engine issue at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Alonso had started the day second on the grid after an awesome display in the wet Qualifying session, but his aim of claiming a podium finish was ended when the VSC was called, just as the BWT Alpine F1 Team driver was passing the pits on the main straight.
This, coupled with an engine issue that came from around lap twenty that left him down in power left him unable to fight thereafter for the top three, and he ultimately finished on the road in seventh, only to be penalised post-race with a five-second penalty for weaving on the straight as he defended from Valtteri Bottas that relegated him to ninth.
“I think this weekend we deserved better than ninth position, but it’s still good for both cars to score points in the end,” said Alonso. “We ultimately lost a big opportunity to fight for a potential podium as I felt like I had the pace to do so.
“We were hit with a badly timed VSC just before our first stop. I was on the main straight when it was deployed, and then missed a pit-stop opportunity before it ended. We then had an engine problem from lap 20, which we were trying to manage.
“We didn’t retire the car and used the DRS to defend, as we were losing a lot of time on the straights. It’s disappointing especially after yesterday’s performance, but we’ll head to Silverstone, try to get on top of our reliability issues and score more points.”
“We leave Canada with some good points for the team” – Esteban Ocon
Team-mate Esteban Ocon was at least able to salvage a sixth-place finish in the other Alpine, with the Frenchman enjoying more of the luck when it came to strategy calls.
Ocon did as much as he could to aid Alonso in the final laps in his battle with Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN’s Bottas, as he ensured the Spaniard had the use of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) to prevent an easy pass.
The former Mercedes-Benz protégé was pleased with the result in Canada, and he hopes they can continue the momentum they’ve been building in the upcoming races, starting with the British Grand Prix across the first weekend of July.
“I’m very happy with the result today to score eight points,” said Ocon. “The team did a great job with the car and the strategy and it was all well managed overall.
“We leave Canada with some good points for the team and a big step up in the Constructors’ Championship. I’m glad I was able to help Fernando at the end there with DRS to keep Valtteri [Bottas] behind.
“There is still a lot to discuss and learn with regards to how the weekend unfolded, but the important thing is to keep this momentum going and keep delivering good performances in the next races.”