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Alonso labels Stroll penalty for terrifying COTA crash ‘very harsh’

Fernando Alonso refused to blame Lance Stroll for their crash at the 2022 F1 United States Grand Prix, as others have called for the Aston Martin driver to receive a race ban

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Fernando Alonso has shown solidarity with Lance Stroll refusing to blame the Canadian for his terrifying airborne crash at the 2022 US Grand Prix, and detailed their post-race conversations.

The pair were heading down the back straight when Stroll moved left moments after Alonso had pulled out to overtake meaning the Alpine driver ran over the rear wing of the Aston Martin and wheelied for several hundred metres before slamming into the crash barrier.

Stroll has faced a huge backlash for the crash and some have called for a race ban to be handed down, but Alonso avoided joining those call, and said the Canadian’s three-place grid penalty for the 2022 Mexican Grand Prix was more than enough.

“In a way I think his penalty is very harsh, but that’s the way it is,” Alonso told the press in Mexico City.

“I moved to the left, he moved to left in more or less the same moment and we touched so I think it was a very unlucky moment.

“We talked after the race in his garage and then in the stewards room because we had to go there and yeah, in my view was the same after the race and the same in the stewards room and the same now.”

The incident happened just before half-distance in the race, just after the safety car period for Valtteri Bottas‘ spin into retirement had ended, and Alonso thought that situation also played into the spectacular end to their battle.

However, it wasn’t the end of his race though, while Stroll had to be lifted off the track Alonso could continue and fought to a seventh-place finish before he was given a 30-second penalty for driving with loose bodywork.

Alonso added: “We moved more or less simultaneously. There was no DRS on the first laps after the safety car goes in so I had to take the slipstream quite aggressively until the very last moment.”

Schumacher counts the cost

Alonso and Stroll weren’t the only drivers counting the cost of the crash though.

Haas’ Mick Schumacher caught debris from the incident and eventually finished 14th meaning he’s still had just two points finishes in 2022.

As the German fights for his future at Haas, he was forced to reflect on what might’ve been at the team’s home grand prix.

“The car was unfortunately quite damaged, which obviously didn’t didn’t quite play into our into our hands,” Schumacher said.

“I think otherwise we were on for a good position, I think around P6 or P7 so it would’ve been for the team having a double points finish.

“But nonetheless, we know the speed is there. And so hopefully we’ll be able to have a bit more luck this weekend.”

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