Fernando Alonso believes Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were unlucky that their hard racing in the Italian Grand Prix led to a race-ending crash for the pair.
Verstappen attempted to overtake Hamilton around the outside at Turn 1 and hold the inside line for Turn 2, but Hamilton had just emerged from the pits and didn’t yield. With Verstappen not taking to the run-off area, he bounced off the apex curb and was launched up and over Hamilton’s car after wheel-to-wheel contact, something Alonso says was simply an unlucky outcome for the battle.
“Well, they are there, both champions, and they are always fighting to the limit,” Alonso said. “To be honest … it seems an unfortunate position and corner and curb — the car jumps a little bit, and then they touch tire with tire, and the rubber makes one car fly over the other. But it’s low speed, you know, they are at 30 or 40kph (20-25mph), there is no danger.
“So I don’t think that was a big thing. Silverstone probably yes, but (in Monza) it was just a racing incident. I think Lewis tried to run wide in Turn 1 to force Max to maybe cut the corner. Max doesn’t cut the corner, stays on the outside, but then there is no possibility to make the corner on the inside for Turn 2.
“I think they both did what they should do. Unfortunately, they touched each other. I saw the replay of the start as well, and (Antonio) Giovinazzi and (Charles) Leclerc, they touched in the same way. (Lance) Stroll and (Sergio) Perez, they touched at the start in the same way in Turn 1 and 2.
“But they didn’t touch wheel to wheel, rubber to rubber, tire to tire. So there is not the same outcome. But this is a very typical maneuver at Turn 1, Turn 2, and they have been unlucky that they touch tire with tire.”
Alonso was speaking prior to the stewards giving Verstappen a three-place grid penalty for causing a collision, but says multiple other incidents that weren’t even investigated were very similar.
“They were just racing and in Turn 1 Turn 2, there are at least four or five cases that were very similar to what happened to them. Just separated by millimeters if they touch the floor, they touch the front wing or they touch the tire. They touch the tire, but it’s nothing too different that they did compared to five or six incidents that we saw at the start.”