Fernando Alonso quipped after the British Grand Prix that Charles Leclerc should get 15 seconds’ worth of penalties for weaving at Silverstone.
Alonso ended the race sixth having made a great start initially to move up to fifth, but he was forced to do it all again after the red flag caused by the massive crash at the start.
He jumped Lando Norris at the end of the pitstop phase as he finished ahead of the Briton, bringing the gap between McLaren and Alpine down to six points in the battle for fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.
Leclerc lost the lead of the race when Ferrari neglected to pit him under the Safety Car, so he was left defending with what little he had against Sergio Perez and Sir Lewis Hamilton, but they both passed him.
While the enormous battle was ensuing between the three drivers in front of him, the 40-year-old began to sense that a podium finish might have been on the cards.
“It was close,” said Alonso in the media pen after the race.
“When I saw them fighting that hard and nearly touching each other, I said ‘okay, if they touch two cars then it’s enough to be on the podium.’
“But yeah, in the end I’m very happy with fifth, it was a very good race I think pace-wise for us from the beginning.
“Even the first start was mega, P5, but unfortunately because of the rules, I positioned myself P7 again so I had to do it again.
“It was probably the best race so far for us in the championship.”
Alonso is pleased with Alpine’s competitiveness relative to McLaren on a circuit where they expected the British side would be stronger, but he suggested that he might have had a better result than P5 because of Leclerc’s movements when defending against Hamilton.
The double world champion was given a five-second penalty in Canada when he was caught weaving to defend from Valtteri Bottas, and he joked that the Monegasque did the same three-fold.
“I think this circuit, let’s say that we knew that for McLaren maybe was one of the best with the high-speed corners and we were matching them in terms of pace,” explained Alonso.
“So, definitely our package is working well and this P5 feels good, even though I have to say that I expect it’s P4, because Charles was moving three or four times in front of Hamilton on the back straight.
“I moved once in Canada and I had five seconds penalty so I think by moving three times it will be 15 seconds penalty for Charles unfortunately!”
Alonso’s team-mate Esteban Ocon retired from the race from a points scoring position, while the second McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo ended 13th as his woes continued on Sunday.
Leclerc kept P4 in Silverstone after the stewards opted not to look at his alleged weaving when defending against Hamilton.