Fernando Alonso has stepped forward to address the controversy surrounding his in-race radio communications, asserting that his remarks were taken “completely out of context.”
Alonso, a two-time World Champion, has occasionally been criticised for his heated radio exchanges during races, and this time was no exception, as tensions flared during the event at Suzuka.
The incident unfolded when Alonso’s Aston Martin team decided to pit him on lap 11, making him one of the first top-10 drivers to enter the pits.
The live broadcast captured Alonso’s frustration as he exclaimed, “You’ve thrown me to the lions by pitting me that early mate, unbelievable.”
The remarks came at a pivotal moment in the race.
Later in the competition, Alonso found himself trailing Esteban Ocon in an Alpine car, a predicament that was exacerbated by Aston Martin’s straight-line speed disadvantage.
Frustrated by the situation, Alonso radioed his team with the plea, “He’s pulling away on the straight, so think of something!”
Post-race, Alonso provided context for his comments, stating, “It’s the same, the classic thing, the classic FOM radio, completely out of context.
“I’m not sure exactly what other drivers can say when they are behind a car that is slower and on the straight they are pulling away even when you open the DRS.
“Maybe the other drivers say ‘I’m okay, I’m happy to be behind,’ but I prefer to be motivated to overtake them on track.
“I was slower even with DRS open.
“I called for a different strategy; we stopped, we beat them.
“That’s the way we do it, we beat everyone on track, even if the radio is the highlight.”
Aston Martin’s team principal, Mike Krack, stood by Alonso, commenting, “If the driver would not be doing something like that, you know, what kind of driver is it?
“I think it is fine.
For us, we take it as motivation, and also it opens up a different view of things.”
Krack’s support for Alonso’s passionate approach underscores the team’s commitment to extracting the best performance from their drivers.
Alonso went on to prove his determination by overtaking Ocon and securing an eighth-place finish. Reflecting on the race strategy, he conceded, “Maybe that [early stop] was a mistake, but easy to say now.
“I think arguably the final result will be P8 after the top teams.
“It didn’t change much our race; we go into the next one.”