Fernando Alonso has apologised to Pierre Gasly after the contact that ultimately ruined both of their races at last weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.
The contact with the Frenchman was the second time in the race that Alonso had been involved in an incident after he also tagged Sir Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap of the race and, when he darted down the inside on Gasly into Turn One, there was a hefty collision between the pair.
Gasly’s right rear corner was damaged as a legacy of it, and as he tried to coax his wounded car back to the pits, he hit Lando Norris, sending the Briton crashing out of the grand prix.
Alonso took a five-second penalty for his troubles and ended the race in P11 behind team-mate Esteban Ocon, who picked up four points in eighth.
The double world champion confessed after the race that he was at fault for the accident.
“It was my mistake, I [braked] too late,” he explained.
“We were ready to give back the position but he was in the pits at that time so I have to pay those five seconds and then the safety car was right and perfect for the hard [tyre] starters once again so we lost a couple of places there.”
Alonso’s race ended abruptly in Imola when damage was incurred to his sidepod following contact with Mick Schumacher, so he has very recent experience of taking a race-ruining hit from someone else.
The 40-year-old therefore knows how Gasly must feel, and confirmed that he had apologised to the 25-year-old.
“Yeah, it was my mistake. It happens sometimes to me,” he added.
“Mick spun in Imola and destroyed my race, I broke too late, I destroyed Pierre’s race so it was my mistake and I feel sorry for him because I know how he should feel and it was not his fault.
“It is too hard not to finish a race after someone touches you from behind so it was bad luck for him and my mistake.”
The Spaniard revealed that he had not taken any damage from the contact with Hamilton, and it was a slow stop that left him so hastily trying to get by Gasly.
“A tough race. I was very aggressive at the start, I made four or five places there, I touched Lewis but the car was good after that so that was a lucky touch,” he affirmed.
“Then on the pit stop, I had a slow pit stop so I lost like four seconds there and I had to recover that time with Gasly.
“Eventually I closed the gap and I was very optimistic for the move with him, so I touched with Gasly again and I had the penalty, five seconds, which I deserve.”
Alex Albon’s ninth-placed finish in Miami saw him leapfrog Alonso for 15th in the Drivers’ Championship.