Fernando Alonso lashes out at Aston Martin as honeymoon period ends

Fernando Alonso's relationship with Aston Martin is evidently beginning to deteriorate this year.

Fernando Alonso was left frustrated by Aston Martin’s strategy at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, where he accused them of throwing him to “the lions”.

The two-time World Champion started the race in 10th but found himself in sixth by the end of the first sector on the first lap, following a chaotic opening corner.

Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton colliding on the run into Turn 1 allowed Alonso to overtake Red Bull and Mercedes driver, whilst he also got ahead of Yuki Tsunoda and George Russell.

Alonso made an excellent launch thanks to having started the race on the Soft tyres, something which saw him show good pace in the opening stages.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

However, Alonso started to struggle once the drivers around him on the Mediums started to get their tyres to work, something which resulted in Aston Martin calling the Spaniard in for an early pit-stop.

Whilst this saw Alonso undercut several drivers, he was quickly caught by the drivers on the Mediums again once they’d pitted and gotten their new tyres upto temperature.

Alonso recognised that he was in trouble and complained to the team for putting him on the wrong strategy.

“You’ve thrown me to the lions by stopping that early!” Alonso complained to Aston Martin over the radio.

Article continues below

Alonso was ultimately overtaken by both Mercedes drivers, with him eventually crossing the finish line in eighth.

Given that he started in 10th, P8 can be seen as a positive result; however, based on his strong start, a different strategy could’ve seen the 42-year-old finish higher.

He has now slipped to 16 points behind Hamilton in the fight for third in the Drivers’ Championship, whilst Sainz is now just 24 points behind and closing quickly.

READ: Carlos Sainz jokes about Mercedes copying his trick

Alonso was the only Aston Martin finisher on Sunday, with Lance Stroll having retired following a suspected problem with the rear of his car.

It really hasn’t been the strongest of recent rounds for the British team, who are quickly slipping away from the top teams in the Constructors’ Championship.

They’ve lost touch with Ferrari in the fight for third and are now very much in a fight for fourth with McLaren, who secured a huge double podium at Suzuka.