Fernando Alonso will be swapping his Alpine overalls for the green of Aston Martin next season, but he hasn’t had the best of starts to his relationship with new teammate Lance Stroll.
On the 22nd lap of the US Grand Prix the race was just restarting, following a safety car cause by Valtteri Bottas beaching his Alfa Romeo, when Stroll and Alonso tangled at high speed.
The Spaniard looked to make an overtake on the Canadian, pulling out from his slipstream to make an easy overtake, when Stroll made a somewhat aggressive defensive move.
The Canadian made a sharp move to his left, blocking off Alonso and causing his incoming teammate to slam into the rear of his Aston Martin, and sending the two spinning across the track.
Stroll was forced to retire after the incident while Alonso limped to the pits for repairs, which were deemed unsafe after the race, with the FIA slapping the Spaniard with a 30-second penalty for putting an unsafe car back into the race.
“We’re racing drivers – it can happen in a race,” said Stroll when asked about the incident.
“I mean, I definitely moved late, but there was a big difference in speed.
“I was judging more or less, kind of picking where he was behind me.
“But it’s not like I hit him on the side of his car. The impact is still his front wing to the rear of my car.”
The 23-year-old believes that although he did make a move to defend the attempted overtake, he left Alonso with more than enough room to avoid a collision.
“I gave him plenty of room on the left of the track, so it’s not like I squeezed him or anything like that against a wall.
“He could have moved earlier and went more to the left. He didn’t have to get so close to me either.
“It was a shame. It was close wheel to wheel racing and unfortunately, we just made contact,” he explained to the media.
Stroll has been given a grid penalty and received penalty points for the incidents, despite his protests.
It will go down as a weekend of ‘what ifs’ for Aston Martin with both Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel sniffing around the top five places during the race, with the latter having an extremely long pit stop putting him out of contention for any significant point scoring.