Fernando Alonso revealed his last-lap overtake on Sergio Perez for third in the 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix wasn’t the most important moment in his race, as he picked up just Aston Martin‘s second podium since the Formula 1 summer break.
Alonso was third for virtually the whole race before Perez overtook him on the penultimate lap and looked set to cruelly deny the Spaniard his 106 podium in F1.
But Alonso refused to give up, re-passing Perez just 12 corners from the finish then holding on in final drag race to the line, and he was asked post-race for his standout moment of the grand prix.
“Obviously the last lap overtaking him, it was was quite a lot of commitment, because we were both just all or nothing in few corners. ” Alonso told the media.
“But I think, to be honest, the most important overtake of the race has to be Hamilton into Turn 4 on Lap 1, that changed my race.
“If I have to fight with Hamilton in the first stint, even if I can eventually get him on lap 10 or whatever, my tyres will never be in a condition to stand the first stint and then have a tyre advantage to check in the second and third stint.
“So for me that is one crucial moment of my race and it’s lap one into turn four with Hamilton.”
Stroll hails ‘really positive day’
Alonso had initially swamped by Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris as both Aston Martins bogged down at the start, and were handed a reprieve when a red flag was called due to Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen‘s heavy first-turn crash.
However, Alonso jumped Hamilton at the restart while teammate Lance Stroll also picked up a very valuable fifth-place finish. It’s Stroll‘s second-best result of the season and meant Interlagos provided Aston Martin‘s most bountiful points haul of 2023.
“A really positive day,” Stroll told Sky Sports F1. “We definitely learned a lot in the past few weeks, and really happy with the result. We had better pace than we’ve had since the beginning of the year.
“A shame about the starts, I couldn’t get off the line. After the red flag I really struggled with wheel spin, the Mercedes and Red Bulls really swallowed me up.
“After that, I felt really good. I passed Russell, Hamilton, pulled away from Sainz.”