Alonso was on course for a super-fast lap in Q3 but a mechanical issue meant he crashed into a wall instead of setting a fast time in qualifying
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The meeting had already been disrupted by a big crash with Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi, resulting in both drivers blaming each other. While that was a bizarre mix-up, it was a mechanical issue that took Alonso out of the session through no fault of his own.
The Spaniard was in the middle of a very fast, hot lap when he lost control of his car. When he tried to get through Turn 11, he was unable to change gears, meaning he lost his line, went off track and, despite his best efforts to avoid it, stalled in the wall.
Alonso may have suffered from the commentators’ curse as his pace was praised by Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle just seconds before the fall. “Fernando really resisted, the old Fernando we know so well,” he said of deploying a purple center sector in his Alpine.
Moments later, Brundle and commentator David Croft were heard shouting, “Oh no,” as the cameras cut to an onboard shot of Alonso, whose left wheel was damaged by hitting the wall. Replays showed he had made several unsuccessful attempts to corner the corner despite a gear change problem.
Alpine was understandably disappointed with their rider’s crash, especially as he was on course to set a very fast time in qualifying. In a statement on social media, the team confirmed: “We are investigating the issue that caused Fernando to crash at Turn 11 in Q3.”
The crash means Alonso will start Sunday’s race in 10th place after failing to set a time in Q3. His teammate Esteban Ocon managed to set a hot lap enough to start a row up in eighth place, with both Alpines sandwiched Carlo Sainz from Ferrari.
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