Fernando Alonso‘s finishing position at the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix didn’t capture how well the two-time World Champion performed at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The Spaniard started second but had to settle for a seventh-place finish, only for a five-second penalty to drop him to ninth.
As a result, Alonso missed out on four extra points. It means he now sits 10th in the standings on 18 points, one place behind teammate Esteban Ocon, who has 39 points to his name.
Unfortunately for Alonso, he suffered an engine issue. Team principal Otmar Szafnauer explained that a possible air leak resulted in the Spaniard losing between eight tenths to a second per lap.
“In the middle of the race, he started complaining about excessive clipping and it looked like he might have some kind of air leak but we need to assess,” Szafnauer said.
Szafnauer explained Alpine‘s strategy at the end of the race, in which Ocon ultimately helped Alonso.
“Esteban didn’t have any problems [and] was a bit quicker at the end,” he said. “He just dropped back such that we had a DRS train.
“I think without the DRS train and the excessive clipping, Fernando would have been at risk of being overtaken and Esteban helped.”
Alonso wasn’t happy with Alpine‘s decision to have Ocon overtake him. He told them over the radio he was faster than Ocon all weekend, but Szafnauer defended the decision.
“We couldn’t switch the order because, then, we would have really been vulnerable,” Szafnauer said.
“It was the right thing to do and Esteban held back in order to allow that DRS train. He could have just gone away with it but that’s not good for the team.”
The penalty that cost Alonso
Alonso’s race went from bad to worse after the FIA rules that Alonso was in Breach of Article 2 b) of Chapter IV Appendix L of the FIA International Sporting Code.
“Between turns 10 and 12, on the penultimate lap of the race, car 14 made repeated changes of direction to defend against car 77 who had to lift at one point and briefly lost momentum,” read a statement.
“Whilst noting the driver’s point that at no stage was any point of car 77 alongside car 14, the Stewards consider this to be a clear breach of the above regulation.
“The Stewards therefore impose a 5 seconds time penalty in line with that imposed for a similar incident in Australia 2022.”
The decision also resulted Alonso adding a penalty point to his licence, bringing his total to six over the last 12 months.