Fernando Alonso scared by Max Verstappen’s fans

Fernando Alonso is yet to win a grand prix with Aston Martin, despite showing plenty of promise in 2023.

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso has divulged that he hesitated before attempting to overtake the triumphant Red Bull driver Max Verstappen during the Dutch Grand Prix. 

The seasoned racer admitted that he considered the crowd’s reaction and opted to stay calm in second place instead of attempting a bold move.

Verstappen secured victory in front of his home crowd at Zandvoort, clinching his third consecutive win at the circuit and extending his impressive run of nine successive victories. 

Alonso finished in second place, closely trailing the Formula One championship leader.

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Alonso shared his thoughts on the unique ambiance of the Zandvoort racetrack, emphasising the significance of the energetic fans and the intense focus required for the race. 

He stated, “This is a very special racetrack, with all the fans and the energy going on, so you feel always very focused.”

Acknowledging the opportunity for a potential overtake in the final stages of the race, Alonso explained his thought process. 

He revealed, “I did think about trying a move in the last restart but then I thought maybe I cannot exit the circuit so I stayed calm in second.”

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The Dutch Grand Prix was marked by a vibrant crowd, with 105,000 spectators converging at the seaside circuit and a total of 305,000 attending the event over the course of three days. 

Verstappen’s fervent supporters, often referred to as the “orange army,” contributed to the celebratory atmosphere as they rallied behind their home hero throughout the weekend.

Verstappen’s victory was not without its challenges, as rainstorms punctuated the race proceedings, making any mistakes potentially costly. 

Alonso’s strategic manoeuvring and skilful driving played a pivotal role in his second-place finish, which marked a resurgence in his performance.

Alonso’s journey on Sunday was a return to the form he exhibited in the early races of the season, during which he had stood on the podium six times out of eight races. 

However, in recent events, Aston Martin’s momentum had waned, with Alonso unable to secure a position higher than fifth.

Alonso attributed his success in the Dutch Grand Prix to a valuable lesson he learned earlier in the weekend. 

During wet practice sessions, he discovered an advantageous racing line by allowing cars to pass him. 

This insight proved instrumental in his overtaking manoeuvre during the race.

Recalling the strategic decision, Alonso shared, “It was wet (in practice) and in one of the out-laps I let a few cars go on the normal racing line and I found a lot of grip on the inside casually, by just letting people go.”

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He expressed readiness to seize the opportunity for overtaking if conditions were favourable.

Reflecting on his overtaking move, Alonso expressed optimism that his tactical choice would be recognised as an impressive feat. 

He noted, “Definitely, that should be the overtake of the month, again. I hope.”