British GP: Fernando Alonso Reveals How He Used Lance Stroll as a Pawn to Fend off Sergio Perez

Published 07/19/2021, 10:27 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria – June 24, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso walks the track ahead of Steiermark Grand Prix REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Fernando Alonso continued his good vein of form after finishing P7 in the British Grand Prix yesterday. While the Spaniard combined intelligence with sheer pace, he put in excellent displays all weekend to finish where he started yesterday.


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One of those moments of intelligence involved keeping Red Bull’s Sergio Perez at bay. After an intense Sunday at Silverstone, Alonso revealed how Lance Stroll helped him keep his competition behind.

Fernando Alonso admits he kept Lance Stroll behind him in DRS range on purpose


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While Max Verstappen‘s crash in the opening lap induced chaos, the entire grid gained a position due to the Dutchman’s DNF. While Alonso moved from P7 to P6, he couldn’t contain Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz which forced him back to P7.

Although Perez suffered heavy misfortune in Saturday’s sprint race, he made quick moves up the grid. At one point, he even held P10 during the race. However, Alonso managed his pace well to keep Perez behind him throughout the race.

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso before the race Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna

After the race, he revealed keeping Stroll in his DRS helped him stay ahead of his competitors. He said, “In the first episode, as we approached the pit stops, we struggled a bit and with Stroll we pushed the lead to three seconds. But then when Checo came, we saw that the best defense was to give Stroll DRS and we tried to use that.

“We wanted Stroll to be close because it was our best defense when Checo was behind. I didn’t want to go too far. I was a little faster but that way I got Stroll to stop my opponents a bit.” (Quotes translated from Google)

Although F1 drivers often attempt to keep drivers out of their DRS, this rare exception on Alonso’s part may be seen as an excellent piece of strategy.


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Alonso: Happy to add more points

Despite conceding P6 to Sainz, the 39-year-old brought home six valuable points to Alpine F1. In addition, he extended his scoring streak to five consecutive races which keeps him above his teammate, Esteban Ocon.


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After the race, the two-time world champion expressed joy after adding more points to Alpine’s tally in 2021. He said, “Obviously I think it’s a good result, I’m happy to add more points to the team.”

High on confidence, Alonso will look to continue his scoring streak at the Hungarian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.


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Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.