Alpine F1 Team leaves Austin empty-handed despite valiant track battles after Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso retired from the United States Grand Prix twice.
Nineteenth on the grid, Fernando started his race well and quickly climbed to sixteenth place. Esteban also got off to a good start, retaining eleventh place before light contact with the rear of Antonio Giovinazzi’s car in the tight and twisty first sector on the first lap.
A few loops later, Esteban was forced to replace his front wing after the discovery of damage resulting from this incident on the n ° 31 A521. The team also took the opportunity to put on hard tires. In the following passages, Fernando continued his progression in the peloton before being called to the pits to put on hard tires and make the undercut on his competitors on the seventh lap.
This decision was bearing fruit as the Spaniard quickly recovered from the Alfa Romeo, then tenth and eleventh. After a crossover, Fernando opted for a second stop for new hard tires on the twenty-eighth lap. Esteban took a different option by betting on mediums two loops before Fernando.
Fernando was back in the fight for the last points on the line when the team switched to a three-stop strategy in the thirty-ninth round for mediums. One lap later, Esteban retired as a precaution due to a suspected problem with the rear of his car when he was in seventeenth position.
“It was a difficult day for the whole team with the abandonment of Fernando and mine. We suspected a problem at the rear of the car, hence our final stop. Our afternoon was compromised from the start with this contact with an Alfa Romeo in the first sector of the first lap. The car looked fine, but we had to stop due to the damage to the front wing. The race therefore promised to be complicated. It’s hard to digest, but the most important thing is to take stock and bounce back together. The goal is to come back stronger for the next series of races. «
Still in contention for a place in the top ten, Fernando saw his efforts cut off when his rear wing suddenly damaged, marking the team’s double retirement at the United States Grand Prix this year.
“It’s a shame to end this difficult weekend overall. Our race was pretty good considering our start from the back of the grid. A top ten was possible after our battles with Alfa Romeo and Aston Martins. There were some incidents that we may need to analyze. Two of them were penalized, another was not. In our final offense, the rear wing broke on the penultimate corner. I saw in the rearview mirror that it was quite damaged so we had to go back to the garage for good. We have to study this as we do not yet know why it happened. «