Alonso “really enjoyed” battle with Ocon for final points positions at F1 Miami GP

Photo Credits: Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team
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Fernando Alonso finished ninth in last week’s Miami GP, scoring two points for Aston Martin after a tough battle with his former team-mate Esteban Ocon in the latter stages of the grand prix.

After a poor qualifying for his standards, Alonso started down in 15th, on the hard tyres and pitted when the Virtual Safety Car was deployed after Max Verstappen ran over the bollard at turns 13/14, switching over to the medium tyres for the remainder of the race. Allowing him to fight Ocon and secure P9.

However, the Spaniard wasn’t fully happy with the pace in the AMR24 throughout the weekend, saying that despite the “better” race pace compared to qualifying, the team still needs to find improvements in order to return to the front of the midfield:

“We were lucky with the safety car, and really have a good race,” he said. “Starting on the hard [tyres], maybe we were thinking to stop a little bit later. But the [virtual] safety car came [out] in that lap and we took the opportunity. And then the full safety car bunched everyone else.

“And we were with the mediums, the others were with the hards. So, we had a little advantage there. So, all in all, we were lucky with the strategy and with the safety car.

“[It was] a little bit better on the race compared to [qualifying]. But we still need to improve and find more pace.”

During their time at Alpine in 2021 and 2022, rarely there was a moment of peace between Alonso and Ocon, as the duo engaged in several heated battles – notably Saudi Arabia and Brazil in 2022 – which seemed to have damaged the friendly relationship between the pair.

But after their latest on-track duel in Miami, Alonso was full of praise for the Frenchman, saying he is a “racer” but always fair, and even congratulated his former squad in Alpine in their improvement in form recently that meant they scored for the first time in the 2024 season:

“Yeah, good battles,” said Alonso. “[With] Esteban [Ocon], very hard fighting as well. As always, he’s a racer, but always with respect. I really enjoyed today the fight with him.

“He’s [scored] the first point for Alpine [in 2024], which I’m happy as well for them. But I think Esteban drove really well to take that point. So, well done to them.”