Fernando Alonso ‘masterclass’ among his greatest drives.
Despite his age, the Spaniard continues to set standards few other drivers can match. One of the greatest drivers in history produced another extraordinary performance in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
In many ways, the story of 2023 was Alonso’s return to the front with the newly competitive Aston Martin team in the first part of the season.
This race to third place behind Max Verstappen and Lando Norris was as good as any. His performance was nothing short of a masterclass. There have been plenty of those.
In this one, Sebastian Vettel defended against Sergio Perez for most of the final stint of the race despite his use of DRS overtaking aid the entire time.
Alonso fought back when Perez finally passed at the start of the penultimate lap. His guile was applied in attack, enhanced with a dash of bravery, and he reclaimed the position at Turn Four.
Alonso said overtaking him on the last lap took commitment. In a few corners, it was all or nothing.”
There was still work to do. Again, Perez drafted Alonso up the pit straight to the line, which they crossed 0.053 seconds apart.
In the car Perez drives, Max Verstappen continues to smash records, and on Sunday he took his 17th win, making 2023 his most dominant season in F1 history. In 1952, Alberto Ascari’s 75% win percentage for Ferrari fell.
He celebrated like a madman with his Aston Martin team – as well he might, for the team had slumped alarmingly after their lead driver scored six podiums in the first eight races.
Regarding his race, he was modest.
Alonso stopped for the final stint just over three seconds behind Perez. There were still 17 laps to go, and the Red Bull was on the Aston Martin’s tail. Was Alonso doomed?
It is more common in Brazil that when a car gets the DRS, it gets by, especially if it is fundamentally faster.
No. It was Alonso’s lines and battery deployment that enabled him to keep Red Bull behind.