Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso suffered an eye catching collision on the back straight of the United States Grand Prix which saw Alonso’s Alpine make contact with the rear of Stroll’s Aston Martin. Stroll’s car was sufficiently damaged to see him immediately retire while Alonso was able to continue to finish the race despite being sent skywards during the crash.
Both Stroll and Alonso have shared their thoughts on the crash, with Stroll being of the belief that his defence was reasonable, noting he left plenty of room for Alonso, who was approaching with an impressive speed difference, on the left of the track.
“The contact with Alonso was a shame,” Stroll said. “It was close wheel to wheel racing and unfortunately made contact.
“I saw it. I definitely moved late but there was a big difference in speed, so I was judging more or less kind of thinking where he was behind me. It’s not like I hit him on the side of his car. The impact was still his front wing to my rear of my car and 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 the wall. He could have moved earlier and went more to the left, he didn’t have to get so close to me either. So there’s a lot of different ways you could look at the incident.”
Stroll also says the impact of the collision was luckily not too high. Miraculously both drivers were completely unharmed during what had the potential to be a much worse incident at such high speeds.
“It wasn’t actually a big impact, it was just a lot of spinning around. I didn’t hit anything hard, luckily.”
Alonso defended Stroll following the race, saying that in his opinion their collision was a racing incident, going so far as to say that they had both moved left at almost exactly the same time.
“We went [to the stewards] together,” Alonso said when asked about the incident. “Honestly, when you see the [incident] on the tv I think it’s a racing incident to be honest. We move basically at the same time to the left and that was the trigger of everything. I think it was a very unfortunate moment for everyone.”
Discussing the incident, Alonso shares his surprise at the team’s decision to continue when he got back to the pits following the crash.
“It was not nice, because when you are up in the air obviously you are not aware of where you are on the track and I thought I was much more on the left. Obviously if you catch the lateral fence then you spin in the air 360. You see these kinds of accidents a lot in IndyCar and they are quite dangerous.
“Then when the car landed on track I thought ‘okay, this is all safe. The car for sure is going to be broken but it is what it is.'
“I drove slowly to the pit thinking we would retire the car. I was surprised when they changed the tyres and the front wing and sent me out. I said ‘okay, it’s just a test but they will call me in in the next lap.’ But no, the car was apparently ok when they checked it. Visually it was fine so we kept going.”