In the round-up: Former team mates Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon say there’s no hard feelings over their hard-fought scrap in the Spanish Grand Prix.
Ocon calls Alonso scrap “good racing”
Ocon defended his position firmly when Alonso took seventh place off him on lap 51. But while Ocon’s late move drew criticism from some commentators, Alonso said his former team mate raced him no harder than other drivers.
“If it was different on TV, I don’t know,” said Alonso in response to a question from RaceFans. “I overtook Zhou, Tsunoda and Esteban and for me they felt all the same.”
Ocon said he had “a good fight with Fernando,” in Spain. “I enjoyed racing with him. Once I saw he was on the right side, I backed off because I knew I couldn’t keep him behind. I managed for two laps but after I had to let him go.
“It’s been pretty normal, all good. There was no drama at all, it was good racing. I’ve enjoyed and I will enjoy many more battles with Fernando.”
Alfa Romeo discover Bottas had damage
Valtteri Bottas’ Spanish Grand Prix was compromised by damage he picked up on the first lap of the race, his Alfa Romeo team believe.
“Now we’ve got the car back we think we have seen there’s some damage on the floor and probably from lap one when he had some incident there in a fight during lap one,” the team’s head of track engineering Xevi Pujolar told media including RaceFans on Sunday. “So we were carrying all that damage and we had a bit of inconsistency which he was feeling.
“Initially we thought it was just the traffic because we can see in this car, especially when we are with the hard tyres, it can be a bit tricky when you hit traffic and then you may lose a bit of a temperature in the tyres and then is a bit difficult to recover the pace. But it was not only that, it was a bit more because even in free air he was struggling like this.”
Bottas started the race 16th and finished 19th with only Logan Sargeant’s Williams behind him. “Now we have seen that problem we need to investigate a bit more what could have caused that and then what it was in terms of pure performance,” said Pujolar. “So we’re looking into that and also for him to understand his feeling.”
Early lead means little in competitive field – Palou
IndyCar championship leader Alex Palou played down the significance of his 51-point lead with 10 races left in the season.
“There’s a lot of races to go,” said Palou, who has taken two wins, a fourth place and three pole positions in the last three rounds. “We got the lead two races ago, now suddenly we have this amazing lead.”
“On the same way that we go up, there’s somebody that can go up as well, and we can go down,” the 2021 champion continued. “That’s IndyCar. That’s the high competition that we have here.”
Asked who his main rival for the title is this year Palou said: “Dixon, Ericsson, Power, Newgarden, McLaughlin, Pato [O’Ward], I could keep going. I wish I could only name you one, but unfortunately or fortunately, I think that’s the cool thing about our series, there’s more than 10 drivers that I’m looking at.”
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On this day in motorsport
- 30 years ago today Nigel Mansell scored his second win in the CART IndyCar series, beating Raul Boesel by half a second on the Milwaukee oval