McLaren’s Lando Norris made a tongue-in-cheek comment about Fernando Alonso after the Spaniard ended the Australian Grand Prix down in 17th place.
Having crashed in Q3 due to a hydraulic issue, Alonso was unable to make significant progress up through the order during the race on the Hard tyres, and eventually pitted onto the Mediums following a long stint that was adversely affected by a Safety car.
Having stopped onto the Mediums, however, the 40-year-old became embroiled in battles with Kevin Magnussen, Mick Schumacher and Zhou Guanyu, ultimately wearing out his latest set of tyres and forcing him to stop again.
To add insult to injury, he narrowly missed out on the fastest lap to Charles Leclerc despite completing the final few laps on the Softs.
Alpine reserve Oscar Piastri missed out on a drive for the 2022 season despite winning the Formula 2 championship in 2021, but Norris has confidence that the Australian will find himself on the grid soon enough.
“Have you raced either of these guys?” asked Rosanna Tennant during an F1 live show at which Williams driver Alex Albon was also present.
“Not yet,” replied Norris, with Piastri adding: “Hopefully soon.”
The 22-year-old, who briefly worked with Alonso during his days in the McLaren junior programme, then jokingly insinuated that the 32-time race winner will want to call it a day after such an unfortunate weekend, having looked on for pole on Saturday before his crash.
“After a day like today, Fernando will be……”, he added, hilariously tailing off.
Albon asked “did he have a bad one?” and the McLaren racer divulged the misfortune that had befallen the double world champion during the race.
“He had to box twice because he went on the Mediums, because he did Hard, Medium, degged off, grained the front so he had to box again for another set of tyres,” explained Norris.
Tennant was astonished that Norris knew all this just moments after he had stepped out of the car, but the five-time podium finisher explained that he was anticipating a charge through the Alpine driver, so he asked a member of the paddock why this had not transpired.
“I just asked Hari” he explained.
“He was in our race at some point, I had to overtake him and we knew he could be strong on the Mediums and try and come back through and Alpine were very fast yesterday, like a lot faster than we were so I thought he might come back through so I just asked why he didn’t and where he finished up.”
Norris ended the race in fifth ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, while Albon scored his and Williams’ first point of the season in 10th.