Fernando Alonso: “This is Monaco and I love keeping other drivers behind”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Fernando Alonso explains why he drove slowly at the Monaco Grand Prix and kept Lewis Hamilton, and a procession of drivers stuck behind him.

At the Monaco Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was stuck behind a much slower Fernando Alonso for most of the race.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff even compared the Spaniard’s pace as being similar to driving a Formula 2 car.

Unfortunately, the narrow streets of Monaco do not provide much space to overtake, so a significantly slower driver can hold up a whole caravan of faster drivers.

After the race, Alonso explained to Spanish publication AS why he was driving so slowly.

“I had no problem, the yellow [medium] tyres were a concern because there were 30 laps to go, so I saved up,” Alonso said.

“We knew graining would be a problem so I saved the tyres for 15 laps and then pushed the other 15. I saved two or three seconds.


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“We blew out the tyres on Friday, so knowing there was a 33-lap sprint, we thought we didn’t have the tyres to finish the race.

“This is Monaco and I love keeping other drivers behind.

Alonso did ultimately pick up his pace to try and help his team-mate Esteban Ocon make up the five-second penalty, which he received for crashing into Hamilton, but at that point Lewis didn’t follow suit and finished around four seconds behind the Spaniard.

Alonso says he tried what he could to help Ocon, but ultimately couldn’t due to Hamilton.

“I opened up the six-second gap, but Hamilton didn’t have tyres to push, so it was his problem.

“I opened up enough of a gap,” the Spanish driver concluded.

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